How to find landscape compositions

How to find landscape compositions



in this video I talk you through my complete composition process great t-shirt by the way Tom if you're not a wine wearing this t-shirt I'll leave a link in the description below I think I may be I think I should have got a bigger size than medium though either that or not eat as many pies this is my stills camera Canon 5d mark 3 with the 24 millons on there that's my normal setup for taking landscape shots and this is my vlogging camera a canon g7x so without stating the obvious I video with this and I take stills with this now the thing is I was actually struggling to create a composition so I actually had this brainwave and I thought why don't I actually film through my stills camera and show you guys the process that's going through my head when I'm trying to create a composition how I find my original composition how I work the composition how I tuned it and then of course how I fine-tune it until eventually I end up with a composition but I'm very comfortable with great idea I'm gonna do more of it now because I shot szostak to death I decided to come away from the normal stare shot the gorgeous curly stares that people use as a lead-in line myself included because they're absolutely stunning so I've decided to come along the cliff edge a bit more and look for something a little unusual in terms of a composition and I've found something that I really really really like this some small pink flowers embedded in the rock here I've got a nice rock that juts out slightly to the left hand side that I'm going to put in the bottom left hand third of my frame with obviously the lighthouse in the far right hand side and I think it's got to make for a very very nice shot focusing really close to the flowers to exaggerate the actual size and the color and so on and so forth but because I'm focusing so close I'm now gonna have to use a focus at stacking technique so I'll be shooting probably one up close one a third of the way into the frame and then one on infinity to grab that lighthouse but take a look at this composition the flowers there which make really nice foreground interest with that little rock jutting out there sits quite nicely on the lower left-hand third moving up then you've got the lighthouse in the background obviously that complements that picture beautifully and a rather nice sky in there so my focus technique here because I'm really close to these flowers is I'm gonna focus they're the odds going to be drawn into those flowers so they have to be pinned shab but because I am so close I'm then gonna move my focus point to there take another focus there and then a final one moving on to the lighthouse itself there that's my composition that's my shot and I think I should be quite nice just want to say a huge thank you to digital lab for sponsoring my channel digital lab is a multi award-winning professional online photo lab that offers you the perfect printed solution every time go on do your photography justice and if you use the code GG ten you'll get 10% off your normal and larger format prints my sentence for this f-16 ISO 50 and I'm at an eighth of a second and yes even though I'm at f-16 I still have to focus that simply because the flowers are so close to the camera if you remember an eighth of a second when I draw my tenth stop filter on there translates to a two minute exposure so I'll take a two minute exposure to turn that C into an ice-skating rink as well and maybe to blur those clouds and we'll see how that looks I'm liking this though it's nice when you go somewhere that you've been before and somewhere especially where you've been several times before because it makes you think outside the box and it makes you work just a little bit harder but don't ever be afraid of doing that what I put my ten stop filter on there I remembered that I had booked polarizer on there on my polarizer CEPS three stops and light so just how to make a quick recalculation so now my settings are ISO 100 I'm an f-14 and that's given me a two minute exposure again I'm going to have to take three shots focus in close third of the way in and then on to infinity they go so that one is ticked off I like that that's quite a nice shot so it's a grab me kit and let's have a wander round and let's see if I can find something else in the foreground to complement that stunning stunning lighthouse to walk it on the cliff edge looking for another composition I've got some rocks that are jutting out just there if you can see them they're quite striking and quite strong when you get quite close to them how many times can you use the word quite in a sentence but look let me give you my thought process because camera in hand and I'm gonna have a walk around and I'll show you by video in it what my thought process is camera to the eye let's look for compositions portrait landscape close faraway basically we know the shot it's the lighthouse in the background and we utilize in these rocks here or I think these rocks here will make a very nice foreground interest so let's fire this up with a video and hopefully I'll show you my thought process so I'm looking well something like that work probably not if I get closer to the rocks so there's an oddball shot like here for instance so it could maybe think of a composition like that maybe like that that's interesting now it's a case of where I place this rock here in relation to the lighthouse there so that would possibly work it's a little bit busy though this rock against the edge of the mountain across there so I could come further right I am restricted you can't see where I am at the moment but all I really restrict hit on this cliff edge but I could come to somewhere like that and if I can manage to come a little bit Oh a little bit further back like hang on he sees you a turn around now something like that could be quite interesting I'm zoomed out with my 24 mil the best I can so you're looking possibly at something like that drop the camera lower down and you'll make that rock more dominant on the left-hand side so that's an option I probably prefer with the rocks at lower down in the lower thirds and that might make for a very nice composition and yes I think with where I am in terms of a restriction for movement that's probably the best I've got on offer and on any quite precarious you you guys can't actually see this alright okay so what about portrait now that's doable that's interesting let's move across that's doable a quite like that I like the relation of this bottom left against the lighthouse far right and now if I come further back pop it back round again what about that let's move further across yeah pretty much where I started off again I just don't like the relation with the rocks there if I drop the camera down that would work again the one thing I'm not keen on now is these rocks here they cut across the frame it's more or less moving the lighthouse to the foreground with the rocks it's the background yeah I don't think that'll work don't think I words either right they go slightly higher up there right now set my camera up I've got my portrait orientation rocked to the left-hand side like this to the right-hand side but now it's about fine-tuning I move the camera further down but I am precariously perched on embroiling between two rocks here and it's quite awkward but talking you through my workflow once again and fine-tuning I've moved down to bring that rock and make it more proud away from the cliff edge except I have another problem I just don't like that I don't like the fact that this foreground and the background are not separated in terms of rules of thirds I want them sat something like that so the only way I can accomplish that is by moving my camera slightly further to the right that's it's much nicer now bottom left-hand side of the third that's it's nicer it's getting closer to the middle but I could probably just do that to move it slightly to the right hand side so now in terms of rules of thirds that's it's much nicer with me we've lost some of the leading lines out and in but I don't mind losing those leading lines to gain a much more structured image so there you go that I think will work much nicer for me and that's–it's much more comfortably so all I need to do is level my camera up and throw my neutral density filter on the top there and that'll balance that quite nice and then focus stack that's quite close to the camera so I'll simply take a focus on that point there in the foreground that rock and then focus to infinity on the lighthouse there and combine those two images that's my workflow that's my thought process and that's how I fine-tune my images to eventually end up with a composition that I'm happy with so my final calculations I've got a three-stop soft grad filter in there just to bring some of that detail down in the sky that then gives me f-14 at ISO 50 and an eighth of a second and at at at an eighth of a second when you add your 10 stop filter onto the front of your lens that'll translate to a two-minute exposure which is I think is ample it's enough to flatten that see out you know one longer and you don't really want less I suppose and that's just a nice simple balance works well

36 thoughts on “How to find landscape compositions

  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    This video ended up as a tutorial by accident. I was just shooting one of my weekly vlogs when I found myself struggling with composition. Because of this, I thought I'd share my struggle with you.
    Hope you guys enjoy it. I've got 4 vlogs banked awaiting post-production and I've just shot my latest Street Photography Tutorial. I'm looking forward to putting them out.
    Enjoy your week and go on, get out there!

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Loved this format Gary, suits my learning style and sharing your thought processes is very helpful, the bits were you say what's not working in the composition is brilliant, more please 🙂 Nice images as always!

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    great video Gary. It's good to see someone elses thought process on composition, something I struggle with sometimes especially with larger scenes. Thanks for sharing!!

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Well done Gary nice to see a more in depth look into framing.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Thanx Gary composition is always a challenge but the way you go about it from thought process to final image is an inspiration to us all. Would it be possible for the subject of composition to feature in photo nerds and also get the views from Adam and Paul on how they go about getting great compositions. Best wishes Gary!

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Great to see your thought processes again. A beautiful spot too. I wish we had some coastline like that around here (Perth, W A). Cheers from DownUnder.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    The final image is awesome!

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Its great to hear someone talk and show you how you get your
    composition

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    New guy question: Why can't you use the CPL with the 10 stop ND? They just won't physically work or just don't because of the super long exposure time the extra 3 stops would give?

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Good stuff, Garry. It reinforces the idea that composing the right image shouldn't be rushed. So often I grab the first image I see. Spending more time seeking out the ideal point of view results in a much more interesting shot. Thanks!

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Enjoyed Gary, the struggle is real! Lol great insight into the working mind of creating compositions.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Great explanation. Thank you for sharing your thought process with us.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Great video again. Like the camera video work, much the same style as Mick Browne youtube , very effictive.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    I think we all tend to put our tripods in the same holes for familiar locations. It's great to see how they got there in the first place.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Its not you its the TShirt companies the labeling if different from 10 y ears ago. I find I too need to buy bigger Ts now. Ha ha ha 🍟🍔🥓🍩🍡🍺

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    brilliant gary, thanks for sharing your thought process and those stunning images, I know we all learn something from you all the time and thank you for that

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Where were you shooting, looks a bit chilly for summertime.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Great video Gary. And thank you for sharing the way you find the images you create. Stunning photos.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Nice video Gary, interesting to see the process another photographer runs. The handheld bit a start is something I absolutely need to start doing.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Bryan Petersen photographer always said after you take a landscape photo always turn your camera to the portrait position, like you did, it always gives a different and sometimes better image!

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Great video as always Gary 🙂

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Great video Gary, as always. Thank you for sharing. I need all the tips I can get. 😝

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Enjoyed that Gary. Nice to see your workflow and great end results.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Thanks Gary, enjoyed watching your thought processes on how best to compose the image. It does help to keep me in the loop. Been a year now, working on my property. I do like that Haida drop in CPL, I have mentioned this B4. I realize the bright sky you are dealing with here, not sure I care for the darkened clouds at the very top or not. It looks like something you did in post to bring the brightness down a tad. I'm thinking perhaps a mild vignette all the way around might help to balance it out a bit more… :~)
    Great stuff btw, keep em coming!
    Bill on the Hill,
    Vermont, USA… :~)

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Hi Garry I thought you were on a loser I could,nt see much in it, but you ended up with a nice shot, regards Ian

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    It's good to know I'm not the only one who laments-in-hindsight some of my decisions while in the field.

    How enlightening to see your process of composing, while viewing it in "real-time" on cam accompanied by commentary. Good and entertaining tutorial, bud!

    Thank-You,
    Mike

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Nice to know about how others go abroad finding their image

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Great to see no rivalry between youtube photographers and supporting each others causes. You dont see that often 🙂 fantastic video as always, always nice to see a pro photographer moving away from those obvious shots and helping us rookies know what we need to be looking out for.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Great vlog Gary, good to see your work process in getting decent pic. Many thanks
    John

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Always nice to see a different take on a familiar location, and a nice way show your “thought process.” If I had to state a preference it would be for one of the first set of images with movement visible in the water. Enjoyable as always , thankyou for sharing!

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    First image was a two minute LE? Water looked a little wavy.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    The main ingredient is finding a good place for a landscape photography. Preferably an easy spot – a place with a few distracting objects and clear point of interest. As long as there is little distraction you will soon notice the best looking angle and composition to take the picture. Most of the time we struggle to take a good picture, because there are too many distractions in our field of vision and we cant really concentrate of what is important and understand what makes that landscape look good. Also usually what is described as visually appealing object actually looks really bad from a photographers perspective, because most of the time the place is designed to see the view, but not to look appealing in a picture taken from that angle.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    As always, great video Gary! Thank you.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Excellent video. Thank you. You know your craft well.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Good stuff Gary, those cliffs certainly restricted what you could achieve but it was informative seeing your thought processes come to light so to speak.

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