Step by step Have it your way
One great subject, six great shots – and only one of them follows convention
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.