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Framing the Play of Elements in Landscape Photography

Observe closely and you will immediately realize that at any given point of time, in any location there are many natural elements at play, interacting with each other. Look for elements that add to the beauty of the landscape. They can add points of interest and also create a mood to your otherwise plain landscape. Skies with cloud formations, rain, mist, wind etc can help you shoot amazing landscape photos.

 Landscape Photography
Photo By Christolakis

Emphasizing the Sky

It is typical of landscape shots to feature a prominent sky, typically filling the top third of the frame. As such, the sky has to be made appealing to the viewer. A washed out midday sky should be avoided as it appears unattractive. A polarizing filter could come in handy during such situations. Early morning or late evening skies offer spectacular backdrops. Clouds interacting with a landscape are a powerful element to make use of to create stunning pictures.

 Landscape Photography
Photo By Chaval

Enhancing Mystery With Mist

Rain, Mist and Fog are powerful natural elements that could transform a landscape entirely and in their own way, contribute and enrich a composition in landscape photography. They are so powerful that they could form landscapes on their own accord. Fog can serve as a beautiful, faded background. The mist that comes partly adds a soft, and sometimes, mystical feel to the landscape. It also reduces the brightness of colours. A line of trees fading either into the distance or into fog can look either calm or eerie.

 Landscape Photography
Photo By Nebojsa Mladjenovic

Chasing shadows

Shadows seem to have a life of their own and they move with every passing minute. They change constantly during the day; the combination of light and shadows in a landscape scene presents you with interesting shooting opportunities. Shadows are not only formed by objects in the scene; faint shadows in different shapes are formed by passing clouds too. Shadows form long streaks at dawn and dusk and are reduced to nothing during high noon. Observe the way in which shadows move across the frame along with changing light.

 Landscape Photography
Photo By JPhilipson

Moving With the Wind

Wind causes various elements in the landscape to move and captured properly it adds life to the landscape shot. Branches of trees, leaves, grass, water… they all move. Capturing a degree of motion and the resulting blur is one creative way of making use of wind which is otherwise a problem for landscape photographers. When shooting a scene with movement, it is always a good idea to include some element in the foreground that is steady like rocks or tree trunks. Try experimenting with different shutter speed settings to find out how much movement works for your landscape shot.

 Landscape Photography
Photo By Chris Tarnawski

Capture Drizzles and Streams

People tend to like landscape shots with a water body in it. Make use of slow shutter speeds to capture shots of moving water in streams and rivers. Or if you are shooting fast moving water try faster shutter speeds that freeze the action and capture the ferocity of the scene in its entirety. Raindrops helps provide texture. Experiment with slow shutter speeds to capture the falling raindrops. to calm water in a lake or slow moving streams, greatly strengthening what might otherwise be a weak composition. Use slow shutter speeds to capture shots of moving water in streams and rivers.

 Landscape Photography
Photo By Anders Young

Creating Wonder With Water

Water is one of the most versatile elements in a landscape scene. It provides a wide range of subjects for the photographer to work with. It could either be the point of focus of the shot or could serve as an element in composition. Water could be used in different ways in a frame, as diagonal or leading lines, as a horizontal line, or as a shape that complements other elements in the frame. Water sources like ponds and lakes can be used to represent the sky.

 Landscape Photography
Photo By Riccardo Cuppini

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