Landscape Composition

by William Lulow

Good compositions usually require some unusual element. It could be the camera angle, the lighting, the sharpness, the color or the subject matter itself. I’ve written about these things before, but this image is a great composition because of the sky. I used a red filter (25A) over the lens and made the shot in MONOCHROME mode. In Photoshop, I lightened the foreground to reveal more of the beach and the boat’s detail.


It also kind of follows the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 rule for landscapes. Except this particular time it’s almost 1/3, 2/3. Not only is the lighting dramatic, but the foreground has just enough detail to add to the sense of place.

A great composition is one that keeps the eye busy within the frame. Here, the eye is constantly moving from the foreground to the background and just about everywhere in between.

The other strong component from a professional’s point of view, is that there is plenty of room for copy for a book cover, record album, an advertisement or whatever. Almost anywhere you put copy would not take away from the impact of the composition.