Organizing Visual Elements
A composition is the selection and arrangement of visual elements is vital in conveying a message to the viewer. It also controls the way the vital in conveying a message to the viewer. It also controls the way the viewer’s eye moves across the image. There should be no random placement of elements in a scene.
Each element should be located in a specific position for a reason. The reason can be physical or
aesthetic. A physical reason would be to direct the viewer’s eye to a particular part of the image. An aesthetic reason would be to convey a message, or elicit an emotional response from the viewer.
The composition is the most important element in creating a good landscape photograph, and the relationship between the land and sky is an essential factor in composition. You need to fill the frame with interesting subjects and decide if the land or sky will dominate the photograph. Try to give your composition more sky or more land rather than an equal balance of both.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LAND AND SKY IS AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR…
If you place the horizon line low in a scene, it will cause the sky to occupy most of the frame and it will become the main point of interest. The background elements will also be more prominent and will serve as a resting point for the viewer’s eye, providing som relief from the visual impact of the sky. The placement of the horizon line in a scene is very important. If you place it in the middle of a scene, it will make the photo seem unbalanced and the viewer’s eye will be unable to find a comfortable resting place. It will be torn between concentrating on the earth or the sky. It will also take the viewer’s attention away from the background elements. Placing the horizon line higher en the scene will alter the photograph considerably. The eye will now be attracted to the foreground with the sky adding som interest. The sky will not be competing with the foreground for attention.
Everything near and far in focus!
You can’t do that with any lens other than a wide-angle.
You can use a sharp depth of field to your advantage when photographing a scene. Suppose you are shooting a person and there are also a mountain formasion in the distance you would like to include in the shot. To achieve a low horizon line, place the camera low to the ground, tilting the camera up to include the distant mount formasion. Focusing on the infinity, take your shot. The final image will encompass a great wide-angle expanse of the nearby person (slightly elongated) and distant mounts with everything, near and far, in focus.
If you are shooting a horizontal of huge view in the distance, large boulders very close to the lens in the foreground, and a cloudy sky above. Focus at infinity. The wid-angle lens will record the distant scene, include the nearby boulders (stretching them out slightly), and capture the expanse of sky and clouds while keeping foreground and background in sharp focus. By keeping the camera viewpoint level to the subject, a moderate expanse of sky and clouds will be recorded in the scene.
However, if you tilt the camera up from a slightly lower position, the area of the sky closest to the lens would expand out or diverge toward the lens and the area of sky farthest from the lens would converge away from the lens, creating a feeling of depth. If you were close to a subject and tilted the camera up, as previously mentioned, the lines at the top of the frame would converge. By tilting the camera up, more sky will be recorded and the horizon line will no longer be in the middle of the frame. If the horizon line is toward the bottom half of the frame, the proportion of sky area will be greater than the foreground area.
To avoid ending up with a very small subject surrounded by large areas of empty space, move close to the scene to capture more details and increase the size of distant elements while still capturing an expansive view.
Rule of Thirds
1. Placing the main subject in the upper or lower third of the frame
2. Produces a more effective composition
3. Creates a strong visual statement
Try not to center your main subject in a scene. Leave an area of the frame without the subject by placing the subject left or right of center in a scene. When shooting with a super-wide angle lens, most objects, especially very wide buildings, will be centered in order to record the entire structure and eliminate unwanted elements. Placing the main subject in the upper or lower third of the frame will make for a more effective composition. This is known as the rule of thirds. The rule states that to draw attention to specific areas of your composition, mentally divide the viewfinder ito thirds, horizontally and vertically. Position your main subject on one of the four points where the imaginary lines intersect. This will allow you to create a photograph that makes a strong visual statement by directing the viewer’s eye to where you want it. This is easier to accomplish with a wide angle lens as you have more space to work with when composing a scene due to the wide field of view.
Figuring the Best Angles
CAPTURE THE WORLD AROUND YOU AS NO ONE ELSE CAN.
Walk around the area you are going to photograph and study it to discover the best angle or angle from which to shoot. Many people make the mistake of shooting from one viewpoint and one position; usually directly in front of the subject and at eye level. Avoid taking every shot from a horizontal viewpoint. Vertical compositions can be very powerful images, especially when using a wide angle lens to exaggerate the height of an object.
Light plays a very important role in landscape and travel photography. Morning or early evening light works best for producing warm colors and adding contrast and sharpness to objects. This is because the sun is at more of an angle to the scene at this time of the day, casting shadows that create depth by bringing out detail, tecture and shapes in buildings, etc. The long shadows created by the low sun provide leading lines which are useful in drawing the viewer’s eye to the main subject in a photograph. The ability of a wide angle lens to gate objects will cause shadows to be exaggerated, especially when in the foreground of a scene, this creating an increased sense of depth. When the sun is overhead, it creates hard lighting which causes everything to look flat therefore contributing to a loss of depth and detail.
An Exciting Adventure
Using an ultra-wide angle lens helps to make travel photography an exciting adventure. It can stimulate your creativity by providing wonderful opportunities to stretch your photographic abilities, both figuratively and literally. Location and landscapes will spread out in front of you as never before and you will be able to create impressive, eye-catching images that you and your family and friends will view over and over. With wide angle lenses, you have a chance to capture images of the world around you as no one else can. Skies will expand, land will elongate and horizons will stretch out. You can bring a totally new perspective to all the photos you shoot.Vacation shots can be more exciting and dramatic by including a wider view of scene.
If you are traveling by airplane, you have a good opportunity to take some interesting wide angle aerial photos. Get a window seat and just after take off, and just before landing, have your camera ready. Use a polarizing filter to remove glare or reflection from the window. Focus at infinity. Use a fast shutter speed of about 1/25 second and look for interesting shapes formed by landmasses, water roads, etc.