Exercise: Photographing a Landscape 5 Different Ways

It’s one thing to take photographs of things, but quite another to take photographs about them. Taking photographs of something is the equivalent of simply pointing a camera and pressing the shutter button. When it comes to taking a photograph about it, many other considerations need to be made. In today’s video, landscape photographer James Popsys talks about this photography process and shares a relevant exercise that helped him make his photos better over the years.

An effective way to make your images more powerful is to take photographs about your subjects, rather than of them. When you take this approach, you start looking for ways to add more context to your images and even tell stories. Popsys shares his method, wherein he shoots a scene (or a subject) in five different ways that help him establish context.

The idea is to photograph not only the subject, but also have supporting elements that add value and context. An important point that Popsys raises is to ensure that the supporting element does not overshadow the main subject. Supporting elements should not compete for attention. He also demonstrates how taking a step back and building a path toward the hero element can tremendously improve the overall image.

A very interesting idea that Popsys shares is to replicate the feeling you get while being around the subject. If you feel calm, depict peacefulness in your image. If you feel thrilled, add more energy to your composition—and so on.

Watch the complete video and be sure to give this method a try. By having one main character, and using other elements to support it, you can easily level up your photography game.

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