Using Composition in Landscape Photography on Yellow Mountain


Great designed image of a stand of trees on the slopes of Yellow Mountain or Huangshan in ChinaCanon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens @ 65mm. Exposure Details: 1/10 second @ f11 ISO 400.

Regular followers of this site will know I have a keen interest in image composition. In all my photography, and in particular my landscape photography, I'm careful to pay attention to the way I compose my images. To achieve good composition I'II often consider the following:
  • Focal Point/s (primary and secondary subjects)
  • Subject Placement within the frame
  • Negative Space
  • Compositional Elements - e.g. line, shape, texture, rhythm, balance and repetition
Here's some simply, but powerful tips that may help you improve image design in your own photography:
  • Slow down and more carefully consider the placement of your subject within the frame
  • Is it tightly framed/constrained by the frame or does it appear alone within its surroundings
  • How do these elements effect the mood of the image?

  • Employ a Tripod
  • Turn your head side on to the camera
  • Position your eye so that you can see all 4 edges of the frame
  • Ensure that you can see the picture frame surrounded by blackness on all 4 sides
Notice how your image now appears to exist outside of the real world.
Is all the information on the bottom of your viewfinder easier to see?  If you can see the information (numbers), but it appear unsharp, adjust your camera's built in diopter adjustment so that it's aligned with your own eyesight (e.g. -2, +1, etc). WOW!
Check out the accompanying video for an explanation of how I employed these considerations in a lovely landscape made on the incredible Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) in Eastern China.
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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru