Lines in the Snow, Huangshan, China

Tree trunks and a fence provide excellent subject matter for a photo exploring the art of composition on Huangshan (i.e., Yellow Mountain) in China.

I made the above image close to one of the hotels I stayed at on top of Mt. Huangshan (i.e., Yellow Mountain) in China.

The image was made with a Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105 mm f/4 L series lens at 28 mm. At ISO I00 I needed a shutter speed of 1/15 second at f/22 to make this exposure, ensuring the correct tonality for the snow.

There was very little color in the scene so a black-and-white rendering seemed appropriate to emphasize the strong, dynamic lines and shapes that dominated the scene. The subject matter is made up of tree trunks and a fence. However, the image is really made up of vertical and diagonal lines, as evidenced in the tree trunks and the diamond shapes formed by the interlacing of the diagonal lines throughout the fence.

As well as the starkness and minimalistic nature of the image it's this kind of abstraction, where the design elements have become the subject matter, that interests me most.

Minimalism Is At The Heart Of Great Composition

If you'd like to achieve the same type of results simply take your time photographing and concentrate your attention on the design elements within the image. The way you frame and compose your image and what you place your subject next two and against all impact the outcome.

A minimalistic approach often helps. So try not to crowd your image with too much information. The old adage, less is more, is certainly worth remembering.

Mist recedes at a most serendipitous moment to reveal a spectacular mountain view on Huangshan (i.e., Yellow Mountain) in China.

Yellow Mountain | A World Of Mists

I loved my time on Yellow Mountain and am looking forward to returning one day. While I visited in the mists of winter the mountain offers fantastic photo opportunities throughout the year.

However, it’s important to note that, with warmer weather comes the crowds. Huangshan attracts millions of (mostly local) tourists throughout the year, but very few of them venture up the mountain during winter. I have to admit I prefer photographing a landscape not dominated by other people.

It will be a difficult decision for me to decide when to return to Huangshan. More than likely circumstances will conspire to bring me there at a time the mountain deems right. That’s good enough for me. I want to see and photograph Yellow Mountain again, in autumn and in spring. And I’m also keen to return again in winter.

I know I’II get there again. It’s just a matter of when and, as always, the success of the trip will be dependent upon how hard I work, my openness to what I see and how I feel about what I see.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru