LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY: SEEING THE WORLD AS LINES AND SHAPES
Take a look at the main photo for this month’s tip. What do you see? Water, rocks, a sunset sky, and some little details in silhouette in the background? Let me tell you what I see…a strong line at the edge of the wave leading me into the scene. Diagonal lines in the rocks leading from right to left, helping to pull the eye towards that wave. In the distance, where the wave starts curving out of frame to the left, the strong shape of the cloud pulls the attention back to the right, drawing extra attention to the fisherman and the distant ferris wheel.
These are the considerations that go through my mind as I frame up a photo and wait for the right moment…in this case, waiting for the right wave to provide the final piece of the puzzle.
When you are faced with a photo opportunity, there are two ways to look at it. First you have the objects in front of you – they are the reason you decide to take a photo. Then you have the lines and shapes those objects create – that’s how you find a way to take those separate objects and pull them together to create a united “story.”
To a photographer, a tree is not just a tree. A cloud is not just a cloud. A sunbeam is not just a sunbeam. A road is not just a road. They are all elements of a composition, and when you realise that, you can start to use the shape of one object to lead the eye to another. You can turn your photo into a type of story where you tell the viewer what to look at first, and what to look at next…leading them to where you want them to go.