When you start to get into landscape photography, you come to realise that Ansel Adams was correct when he said it is the ultimate test and often the ultimate disappointment. Getting a landscape shot that you are 100% happy with is extremely challenging. A large part of that is getting landscape photography composition right. Composition is so integral to powerful landscape images that it’s difficult to overstate its importance.
But what can you do to improve the results of your landscape compositions? As it turns out, quite a lot! We have put together a short list of where you can start with some of the results that you can expect.
So settle in and grab a few tips, then head out and try out a few!
Use the Rule of Thirds (then ignore it)
The rule of thirds is one of those old chestnuts in composition that can really get some arguments going. But the truth is that if you stick to it, you will probably get a reasonable composition in a landscape. In fact, many of the great landscape photographs stick to it almost religiously. And you should certainly use the rule of thirds as a guideline for your own landscape composition experiments.
But treat the ROT more as a “guideline” than a rule and start experimenting with intentionally breaking it. There’s certainly no law that says that the rule cannot be broken. In fact, some of the following tips might help you break it in unusual and interesting ways.
Notice how the visual elements in the photo above fall roughly on the thirds of the canvas. A landscape photograph that sticks roughly to that will usually look respectable. But don’t be constrained by it either.