It’s Friday, and I’m ready for the weekend!
If you’re like me, you use at least some of your free time on the weekends to head to the great outdoors to snap a few photos.
To get your creative juices flowing, I thought I’d share eight awe-inspiring landscape photos from Discovery Photo Tours that I’ll be keeping in mind this weekend as I’m shooting.
The landscapes near me don’t look anything like those in the photos below, but that doesn’t matter!
Examine these images for ways you can use lighting, framing, leading lines, and other compositional elements to improve your photos. I sure will!
Without further ado, here we go...
Jokulsarlon Diamond Beach
Incorporating a human form into a landscape shot is an ideal way to add interest to the landscape while also giving the viewer some context of the scale of the scene. In this shot by Patrick Di Fruscia, Ken Kaminesky rides an iceberg on Diamond Beach. With the inclusion of Ken, we get a sense of just how large the iceberg actually is. Note how Patrick also used the rule of thirds to position Ken in a place of importance in the shot, which also gives the photo better balance.
Leading lines are a powerful compositional element because they draw the viewer’s attention and help connect foreground elements with those in the midground and background of the shot. In this case, the pier and the gondolas push our eyes toward the distant buildings and the skies above. Note as well how the sharpness of the stationary pier and buildings contrasts nicely with the blurred movement of the gondolas. Incorporating that kind of subtle movement adds just a bit of dynamism to the shot.
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland
Photographer Patrick Di Fruscia gives us a glimpse of what Iceland has to offer in terms of waterfalls in this gorgeously framed photo. Of particular interest is the contrast between the milky smooth water and the craggy, moss-covered rocks. This is a great example of how adding texture in a landscape image gives it much greater depth.
When photographing landscapes, try doing so from an elevated point of view to provide an unexpected perspective on the scene. In this instance, the elevated shooting position gives us a front row seat for the morning mist and fog rolling between the mountains of Val D’orcia in Tuscany. This higher shooting position also reveals the repeating layers of hills and mountains which help define the scale of the landscape.
Londrangar Cliffs, Iceland
Too many photographers stay indoors when the weather is questionable. That’s a shame, because as photographer Ken Kaminesky shows us, an overcast day can help boost the mood and drama of a landscape. With a lack of direct light, photographing landscapes on overcast days requires adding additional elements to prevent the image from feeling dull and flat. Ken does this beautifully by incorporating various layers, colors, and textures to keep the scene interesting.
Cinque Terre, Italy
When photographing landscapes, incorporating foreground interest helps draw the viewer deeper into the scene. In this case, the interesting shapes of the rocks in the foreground and their interaction with the lapping waves helps set the tone for the shot. Drawing the eye inward and upward, this foreground interest facilitates the transition to the brightly colored buildings of Cinque Terre, providing a delightful example of how natural and manmade elements can combine to create a compelling landscape photo.
Hvita River, Iceland
When composing your landscape shots, don’t be afraid to move the horizon around in the frame. In this instance, the foreground elements, including the gorgeously blurred Hvita River, take precedence in the shot, so the photographer shifted the horizon upward. With very little sky in the frame, the foreground elements take center stage. But, notice how the leading lines of the river still direct our attention to the far-off mountain peaks in the background, which frame the foreground quite nicely.
If you want to be inspired to take a shot at sunrise or sunset, look no further than this gorgeous shot of the Italian Riviera. Though the temptation might be to shift the horizon line to the bottom of the frame to capitalize on the color and texture of the clouds, this image is a perfect example of how breaking the rule of thirds can result in a better photo. Positioning the horizon line in the middle of the frame gives us enough of a view of the sky to appreciate the sunset, but also allows incorporation of tons of foreground interest in the landscape and village below.
With that, you have plenty of inspiration for your the coming weekend landscape photography adventures.
Speaking of landscape photography adventures…
All of these gorgeous photos come from trips offered by our friends at Discovery Photo Tours. From Iceland to Namibia, Italy to Vietnam, Discovery Photo Tours offers unparalleled experiences for photography enthusiasts of all skill levels and abilities. With professional photographers along for the ride to offer tips, insights, and feedback, these tours aren’t just for viewing spectacular locations; they’re also for honing your craft.
Want more inspiration? Check out Discovery Photo Tours. (You'll be happy you did)