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photo bystellalevi via iStock
If you’re not all that inspired by your landscape photos lately, you might need to change the way you approach composing your shots.
There are a million composition tips for landscape photography, but the ones outlined below are simple, straightforward, and easy to implement, even if you’re a brand-new photographer.
And though these tips are directed towards beginners, they’re powerful and effective enough for veteran photographers to use, too.
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Landscape Photography Composition Tip #1: Concentrate on Framing
photo by DominikFrings via iStock
Framing refers to how you use elements in the photo to frame the primary subject.
Using a frame not only adds depth and a feeling of dimension to the photo, but it also helps drive the viewer’s attention to the primary subject.
In the image above, for example, the trees in the foreground help frame the lake and the mountains beyond. The result is a photo that is more compelling with a better connection between the foreground and background.
Landscape Photography Composition Tip #2: Strive for Symmetry
photo by den-belitsky via iStock
Our eyes are naturally drawn to symmetry, so it only makes sense to incorporate symmetrical elements into your landscape photos when possible.
The easiest way to compose a symmetrical landscape shot is to use water to create a reflection of the landscape.
The photo above is a perfect example of the power of symmetry.
There’s a beautiful harmony from top to bottom in this shot thanks to the placement of the horizon line in the middle of the frame.
Though it’s not typically recommended to put the horizon line in the middle, in this case, it works perfectly to enhance the symmetry of the shot.
photo by Ladislav Kubeš via iStock
You can use man-made elements to create symmetry in a landscape photo as well.
In the example above, the bridge splits the shot from left to right, with its cables and decking serving as the symmetrical elements.
Notice how even though the trees aren’t perfectly symmetrical that the shot still has a symmetrical feel. Your photos don’t have to be perfect to that wonderful mirror-image look either!
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Landscape Photography Composition Tip #3: Create Vertical Landscape Photos
photo by shaunl via iStock
Not all landscape photos have to be taken in landscape format.
Instead, some landscapes benefit from a vertical aspect photo, particularly if the primary subject is very tall and thin, like a mountain peak or a stand of trees.
On the one hand, a vertical aspect landscape photo allows you to accommodate such tall, thin subjects in one shot without having to zoom out or position yourself very far away.
photo by HaizhanZheng via iStock
On the other hand, vertical aspect landscape photos give you the opportunity to incorporate more foreground elements into the photo.
That’s important because the foreground of a landscape image is like the introduction to the scene - you want something that adds interest to the shot and improves the composition.
Foreground interest can be just about anything - rocks (as in the image above), grasses or other plants, a footpath, a stream - you name it!
The point here is that you have to work to add these elements to your compositions, but that little bit of extra effort can make all the difference in the world when it comes to how your landscape photos look.
For more composition tips for landscape photography, check out the video above by Landscape Photography iQ.