Landscape Photography: 5 Transformational Composition Tips

Composition tips are a dime a dozen. As a student of photography, it is up to you to decide what suits your style best. We often recommend rules that have been tried and tested, but sometimes it’s handy to go a different route. Today, we bring to you professional landscape photographer Mark Denney, who shares five uncommon composition tips that have changed the way he approaches creating images:

The tips Denney shares in this video are not just minor tactics. They have a much bigger scope. He doesn’t talk about camera settings or gear, but rather the major factors that you should keep your eyes out for when composing an image.

To wit, it is not actually about looking through the viewfinder and trying to find the best framing. You need to perform mental exercises prior to even picking up your camera. And these exercises are exactly what Denney brilliantly explains in the video.

You’re only ready to photograph a scene after you’ve identified your inspiration. Otherwise, you won’t be clear about what you want you viewers to appreciate. Always ask yourself why you want to photograph a particular scene. There may be multiple answers to that question, but it is up to you to put those pieces together. And while you’re at it, be sure to clearly carve a path for your viewers. This step is about mapping a pathway for viewers so you can guide them through a visual journey. Denney shares some excellent examples of how he achieves this in the video.

He also touches on how to note competition for attention within a frame. We generally have a tendency to include as many interesting elements as possible, but this leads to a clash. It is a smarter idea to have minimal elements in your photos to make your composition more effective. In some cases, as Denney demonstrates in the video, there’s no way you can get rid of the distracting elements while you’re composing the image. In that case, you can use post-processing software to make your life easier.

Besides these tips, Denney also shares some great advice on adding depth and finding balance in your composition. Be sure to watch the complete video for some great insights. And don’t forget to try out some, if not all, of the tips when you’re out taking landscape photos!

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