We’ve posted countless landscape tutorials in the past—some with so-called “rules” of composition, and others with tips from top pros. And guess what? Many of these lessons include very similar advice.
Of course that’s not a bad thing because important concepts are worth revisiting. But in the tutorial below, a successful New Zealand pro takes a different approach. In fact, you could almost say he works backwards as compared to more conventional methods.
William Patino specializes in landscape photography, teaching shooting and editing techniques that often have a unique twist. In a sense Patino marches to his own drummer, as you’ll see in the five-minute composition tutorial below.
Along the way Patino reveals, “some embarrassing mistakes I used to make,” so you don’t make them yourself. But the real emphasis of this episode is a selection of Patino’s favorite tips, designed to help you shoot more compelling landscape images with depth, interest, and drama.
Patino begins with this warning that you probably haven’t heard before: “Whatever you do, please don’t set up your tripod straight away.” Hmmm. Sort of the opposite of what you’ve heard in the past, right?
Instead, upon arriving at a destination, Patino works more like a fly fisherman who leaves his rod in the case until he studies the stream, determines what bugs are hatching, and locates probable hiding sport for the “big ones.” In other words, Patino recommends leaving your gear in the bag, until you’ve strolled around (often walking backwards) and thoroughly examined the site.
With this thoughtful approach you’re far more likely to locate an ideal subject, and only then is it time to examine the lenses in your bag to decide which one is best suited for the task. But it’s still not time to start shooting until you’ve carefully determined the intensity, quality, and direction of the light. Now, and only now, is it time to grab your camera.
After watching this video head over to Patino’s YouTube channel where you’ll find more interesting tips and tricks.
And don’t miss a tutorial we posted earlier, explaining how to shoot amazing landscape photos with your phone.