Contrast and Content are two of the most fundamental aspects of Landscape photography, but Composition is key. Without the proper composition, pictures just wont look good, so there are some rules to this. Just remember: rules are meant to be broken. At least in photography.
Composition is what turns a snapshot into a photograph. But without Contrast and Content, it will end up strait in the ‘meh’ pile.
Leading lines are a fine and powerful example of good composition. They draw your viewers eye through your composition and towards your subject, like the lines on an airfield lead planes to their destination. Leading lines in no way have to be straight to do their job. But they have to be identifiable to anyone who sees your picture.
The Rule of Thirds is another tool people who merely look the the picture don’t necessarily understand the meaning of yet still find themselves attracted to. Placing your Content, in this case the Löfbergs Building above the boat, on one of the lines or better yet at an intersection in those lines, makes the image more appealing for several reasons, most of them subconscious.
It is very important that your Horizons are overall straight. I’m nit a big fan of Dutch Angles. It is also a good idea not to place them dead centre in your Composition. But it can also work very good to place your Horizons dead centre somtimes, like in the shot above.
Breaking the rules is an important part of forging your photographic skills. While this picture would have probably work with the Rule of Thirds in mind, it just didn’t for me. In this day and age, photography has to be unique to stand out, and while this is definitely possible without defying the rules, it is also a rule to break the rules every once in a while. I know that might sound weird to you, but in the end, photography is an art form. And art knows no boundaries.
No one would tell you to block half your Subject with another one, but both the Dom and the Hohenzollern Bridge are defining landmarks of Colognes skyline. But this is not to show you that you can break the rules. We already covered that. This is to show you the only rule I never break, or at least attempt to never break: Straight Lines. For me, Straight Lines have to be straight. A building that looks like it could topple over at any moment just isn’t very comfortable to look at. And while others might like them, I absolutely despise Dutch Angles.
Also, do not be afraid to crop.
This post concludes my ‘Contrast, Content & Composition’ series. I hope you liked it, and if you did, I invite you stick around for more Photography, Traveling and other good things.
Find the other two posts here: