Alone Amidst the Landscape
This article was originally published in September 2014.
A Sense of Scale
From a pure geometry and compositional point of view, having a lone person within a vast space works well for several reasons. One, it establishes a sense of scale. You may see a picture of a majestic mountainscape, but unless you see a small man walking away in the distance, you won’t know how massive the mountains actually are.
Also, the solitary person also becomes an immediate point of interest. The viewer’s eye knows where to look, and can accordingly be guided through the rest of the frame.
Go Absolutely Minimal
Minimalism is also be a great way to create mood. The whole idea of man being surrounded and overpowered by his environment conjures up a bunch of feelings and emotions. One way to work towards this in a better way is to use colour carefully. Since a majority of the frame is being documented by a landscape, try isolating just one colour to create mood. Misty greys of cloudy skies, vibrant yellow sunsets and serene blue twilight views, every time of day has its own connotations and stories attached.
Where to Place Your Character
There is no real rule here. The Rule of Thirds may be a good idea, but try breaking it. A central subject if the corner elements are interesting is a good idea. Pushing your subject to a corner can be a bold decision as well, but can work when the landscape is stark.