Our Photography Courses Blog

Photography Composition tips – make it clear

A lot of people don’t really get landscapes, so we have to think about it differently than portraits – so some landscape photography composition tips. We always say that a landscape photo should be easy to understand, with clear flowing lines and the foreground and background nicely separated.

We took out a group on a photography course at Ashton Court in Bristol to prove the point.

photography composition

Less than perfect view

Here the picture is very hard to read – the trees blend together and with the skyline and the people at the bottom and their bike are cut in half. There’s no clear story here. Let’s take a few steps back:

photography composition

A more perfect view – easy to understand.

Now the trees are separate in the sky, the people are whole and make sense giving the picture an easy-to-follow story.

It’s just a better picture!

As we always say, it doesn’t really matter what the camera is, it’s in the eye of the photographer. Taking a few steps back has made a picture that makes sense. We may not like it, but we understand it.

There are two reasons why the first picture doesn’t work – our photography composition tips are:

firstly the one eyed camera has flattened the whole scene to give a 2D version that crams all the trees together. Cameras, having one eye, will always do this, we need to alter the composition to make it less obvious. It probably looked good visually, but it doesn’t work as a photograph. We need to think like a camera when we compose.

Secondly, we like stories and having a clear story to follow makes it easier to digest the picture. We don’t have to like it, but we have to understand it. A bad landscape photograph makes it look as if the camera went off on it’s own!

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