While I’m not always a fan of sticking strictly to the ‘rules’ or ‘guidelines’ of photography I think they can be well worth knowing and keeping in the back of your mind as you shoot (whether it’s so you can follow them or break them for effect). Here’s four ‘rules’ for landscape photography that might be helpful for those just starting out (ie they’re not meant as a definitive guide but rather a starting point) :
1. Diagonal Lines
Using diagonal lines can be a very effective way of drawing the eye of those viewing an image into it and to the main focal point.
The ‘lines’ need not be actual lines – they could be the shape of a path, a line of trees, a fence, river or any other feature in an image.
Converging lines (two or more lines coming from different parts of an image to a single point) can be all the more effective.
2. Geometric Shapes
By positioning key aspects of a landscape on points of a geometric shape you can help create a balanced composition. Perhaps the most common and easiest way to do this is to use a ‘triangle’ shape between objects in an image with three objects in a frame positioned with one to each side and one more central.
Using Geometric Shapes in this way isn’t something that I’ve done a lot of – but it is one technique to get balance in a shot and if you’re clever, to lead the eye into it (in a similar way to the diagonal lines rule above).