Step by step Have it your way

One great sub­ject, six great shots – and only one of them fol­lows con­ven­tion

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

Q UICK T IP! If you’re not sure how to break the rules, take a look a t your own port­fo­lio. The sort of shot you take over and over? Don’t re­pea t tha t!

01 The safe op­tion

We started with the safe shot, a stan­dard view of the light­house. A quick Google search of the lo­ca­tion turned up sev­eral near-iden­ti­cal ver­sions. There’s the rule of thirds, the lead­ing lines and the fore­ground in­ter­est, all work­ing to­gether to pro­duce a nice, if very safe, land­scape.

03 Stuck in the mid­dle

Plac­ing your sub­ject dead-cen­tre within the frame is some­thing we’re of­ten told not to do, but it can lead to a strik­ing com­po­si­tion, par­tic­u­larly if, like here, there’s a sym­me­try to the sur­round­ing land­scape or lead­ing lines that direct the eye to­wards the sub­ject.

05 Big skies

The ‘big sky’ shot is some­thing that can work very well if you have a sin­gle point of in­ter­est in a land­scape. In­clud­ing a huge ex­panse of sky (or fore­ground) em­pha­sises the sense of iso­la­tion. Sim­ply pull the cam­era back, or use a wide an­gle and frame the sub­ject along the bot­tom or top of the frame.

02 Sent to the cor­ner

Move your sub­ject around the frame. This shot was taken from al­most the same spot as the first, but a down­wards tilt and a shift in fram­ing has pushed the light­house into a cor­ner, forc­ing the viewer’s eye to wan­der through the photo and pro­duc­ing a more dy­namic com­po­si­tion.

04 Tilted hori­zon

An im­age cre­ates its own real­ity, so why shouldn’t the world be tipped on its edge? Land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers are taught to avoid wonky hori­zons, but an in­ten­tional tilt of the cam­era isn’t al­ways bad. Here, the tilt em­pha­sises the ver­tigoin­duc­ing ap­proach to the light­house.

06 Go ab­stract

We’re told that a land­scape should have a de­fin­able sub­ject for the viewer to fo­cus on. How­ever, ex­clud­ing any recog­nis­able sub­ject can re­sult in beau­ti­ful ab­stract im­ages – there’s some­thing very calm­ing about hav­ing just an ar­ray of soft pas­tel colours blend­ing into one.

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