If you’re striving to shoot more impactful landscape imagery you’ve come to the right place, as one of our favorite instructors reveals seven simple techniques that “transformed my photos” as his skills evolved. These techniques are easy to accomplish but will have a huge impact on the quality of your work.
Instructor Nigel Danson is an acclaimed British outdoor photographer who is very generous about sharing the secrets to his success. The impetus for this lesson is an eBook that took Danson years to complete. Writing the book forced Danson to look back and determine what made some of his images work better than others.
The tips he reveals in today’s episode are all about composition, and Danson begins by illustrating why “spacing is so important.” Here demonstrates the importance separating objects within a scene and why you should avoid placing key elements near any edges of the frame. He also has a few good suggestions for properly positioning the horizon.
Danson also discusses how to choose the optimum vantage point—either high, low, or straight on—when composing different types of photos. You’ll also see how to crop images for maximum impact during the editing process when the original shot wasn’t quite right. In essence, the goal here is to capture images with dramatic tension that guides a viewer through the shot.
In that regard Danson says “there are loads of ways to lead the eye” that transcend common notions like leading lines and the Rule of Thirds. He illustrates several less-familiar methods, including how to use elements in the frame to create a compelling sense of balance and direction throughout a scene.
Danson also has some great advice for choosing the optimum focal length for the task at hand. You’ll see why he says, “You don’t have to shoot really wide to include foregrounds in your photos.” He offers an important reminder that the wider you go, the more background elements recede, and that’s not what you want if there’s a towering mountain in the distance.
The foregoing is only a small slice of the tips that Danson provides, and virtually all of them are sure to improve your skills. So take a look and put these simple techniques to work. You can find more great advice for improving your landscape photography by visiting Danson’s instructional YouTube channel.
And don’t miss the tutorial we posted recently from another accomplished pro, explaining how to shoot photos of the urban landscape that really grab attention and make your images stand out from the crowd.