Improve Your Composition

“Improve your Composition” …Probably one of the easiest comments a critic can make.

And, the most difficult to teach.

A good photographer has to bring depth of 3-Dimensional scene to a 2D medium. No wonder, composition is everything which would differentiate you from others, bring your stamp to the shot and convert it to art.

Some of the great landscape photographers takes so much time for every shot to decide on the overall composition. Today, lets discuss a bit on Nature and Landscape photography… I believe, this niche of photography gives you the time to create.

Maybe, for a moment, think as if you are doing film photography with a film emulsion roll and you have only 36 shots in a roll (like old times)… Wow! Those were the days? But! each frame one took was one shot less to make, so it made one to think very seriously before they pressed that shutter button-

  • Have I made the correct exposure?,
  • Did I set the camera right?
  • Was all the elements of composition considered?

And, of course, all that one could only eventually find out only while processing the film lateron in the dark room.

Today, it is totally different. We have the luxury of digital sensor and cameras… But film days taught us to think before we made that shutter release.

Some mistakes, we all make while shooting landscapes :

  • Shoot landscapes, as if the bird will fly off. Or the scene will just vanish
  • Shoot like the most of us, at Eye Level
  • Just shoot what is in front of us, without even looking around.
  • Follow other tourists to tick mark your visit.

Please do Look around, see if the shot requires you to just shoot just an element or the whole landscape, or is the whole scenery in front is too powerful to miss.

Few suggestions:

  1. Try going Wide and Close to the scene, Become a part of the landscape.
Thimpu Bhutan : EXIF f8,25sec,iso100,16mm

Look at the layers in front of you. (an interesting foreground, a mid-ground and a backdrop). At least look for two of these elements in any shot you make.

EXIF f5.6, 1/320. iso160 35mm
  • Try different angles/lenses other than standing and shooting from eye level. Trying going low, look for something in the foreground and then compose the shot.
EXIF f5.6, 1/320, iso200,105mm

A different perspective by moving around a bit/ using a long lens to compress the image.

EXIF f5.6, 1/320, iso200, 105mm

The next two landscapes were taken minutes apart in Amboeseli, Kenya of the Sunrise with two different lenses.

First one, a wideangle…show the full scene

EXIf EOS6d, F4, 1/1250, ISO 1600, 24mm

and the second one, compresed shot with a long lens.

EXIF : EOS 7dm2, f5, 1/500, ISO 200, 150mm

Finally, I would recommend you to try at least 5 different angles of the same scene before you leave the place. All these suggestions require extra time, effort and some work, but then someone said learning composition is not easy.

And that what differentiates a top notch photographer from the crowd…..

Hopefully, will continue more on Compositions….. in my next blog.

Meanwhile continue clicking.

Copyright notice

© Sachin Sawhney Photography. All Rights Reserved.  

Please be aware that all content of this blog is property of Sachin Sawhney Photography. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sachin Sawhney with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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