Published December 6, 2021
Composing landscape scenes that present your subject in a visually pleasing way can be tricky. It’s especially challenging when there’s a lot to look at in the frame. How do you focus your viewer’s attention on the subjects and areas in the composition that are most interesting?
Pro photographers often recommend “working a scene.” The idea is to not simply settle for the first composition you try, but to explore a variety of angles. This is a helpful recommendation, but merely getting lower or higher or moving to the side a bit isn’t enough on its own to make a better photograph. You need a guiding principle for these movements.
As photographer Mark Denney illustrates in this video, being aware of converging lines and the space around each of essential objects in your frame will help you arrive at the best compositions.
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“Making sure that you’re paying attention to the space around your subjects, looking for those converging lines and making sure that all the subjects in your overall photograph have room to breathe and none of them are crossing over into each other,” is a practice that will immediately help you compose more compelling landscape photographs, Denney explains. “Fixing that mistake can really, really take your photography to the next level and make your compositions look much cleaner.”
The next time you’re refining a landscape composition, watch your converging lines and try to create as much separation as you can between objects in the scene. Even small camera movements can make a big difference.