Photographic Composition – Use the Corners
Ah – photographic composition… Once again I will start with the fact that a lot of people ask me how to take better landscape photos. I counter this by saying theirs are really nearly as good as mine, as a landscape photographer. They could be just as good as mine if only they tweaked a few things!
The are a few secrets to really Strong Lines in a landscape photograph.
Your eye does things you don’t realise. When you open a book, your eye goes to the top left of a page automatically. It gets bored if the subject of a photo is slap bang in the middle of the image. It does lots more than that as well. What it does can be good or bad if you are in the Landscape Photography business.
What do we want? – we want people to look at our Landscape Photographs for as long as possible. To do this we use all the available area of the image to please and excite the eye that is looking at it.
One way of doing this – and there are several photographic composition techniques – is to use the corners of the image and to bisect those corners with a line in your composition. This will ‘lead’ the viewers eye into the frame, and hopefully to where the Subject Matter is. These lines can be ‘strong’ – e.g. a hard element like the edge of a road, or can be ‘soft’ like a cloud pattern.
I am not suggesting for a minute that to do Landscape Photography you need to use all four corners. Far from it. What I am suggesting is that whenever you get a line leading into your viewfinder that you should take care to exactly bisect the corner. This is where your tripod and patience come in – read more about that here. Use of a tripod will allow you to exactly frame your image before pressing the shutter.
I hope this has made you think about the way you use the corners, and will help you take better landscape photos. For more photographic composition tips – try this for how to give your images depth, and this for how to use the Rule of Thirds to ‘balance your images’.
Thanks for reading this far. Enjoy your Landscape Photography.
The Berowra Photographer
PS:- this image does in fact almost use all four corners…