Going Beyond Traditional Landscapes
Don’t Include the Sky
Portray the smaller details of the landscape instead of the grand vistas. Traditional landscape photographers always include the sky to keep the image realistic. But by excluding it from the image you can turn the viewer’s attention to the intricacies of the landscape.
Concentrate on Composition and Texture
Keep the composition simple but strong. Pay attention to leading lines and unconventional viewpoints. Bring out the texture of the subject by shooting at sunrise or sunset when the light falls at an angle. Sharpness is of prime importance in this case and can make or break the image. On the other hand, you can decrease the shutterspeed and blur all the moving elements like water or clouds.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Abstract
Get closer and photograph the tiny details of the landscape. Shoot just the lichen on a rock or the reflections on water. Make use of creative techniques to get more intriguing images. For example, if you shake the camera while shooting trees at a slow shutterspeed, they form interesting blurs.
Forgo the Wide Angle Lens
Use telephoto zoom lenses (especially in the range of 70–200mm) to compress the distance between objects. They flatten the field of view, giving the image a more two dimensional look. They also help you single out a part of the landscape especially when it is not possible to go closer. A lens with image stabilisation and a constant aperture is an added bonus.
Look For Interesting Shapes and Patterns
Always keep an eye out for distinct forms or recurring patterns that stand out as they become very powerful compositional elements in the image. For example, the lines on a tree trunk, algae in a river or paddy fields when seen from a hill create some very captivating patterns.
This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Better Photography.Tags: Telephoto lens, better photography, patterns, july, abstract, Landscapes, Landscape Photography, 2014