Ivan Turgenev’s quote, “The drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pages in a book,” resonated with me. Being a visual person, I appreciate how a single image can convey diverse messages to various people.
Photography was once considered a mere craft. The aesthetics of a landscape photographer’s images didn’t automatically classify them as fine art. Don’t fret over labels; focus on refining your landscapes with these three tips.
Lines: Use Them Wisely
Make yourself into a landscape photographer worthy of a fine art collection by considering how your photograph leads the eye of your viewer – It’s a great way to use the natural landscape to lead the viewer to the focal point of the image.
Using straight lines to dissect a shot can create scale, depth and be a dramatic point of interest in an otherwise unassuming landscape. A horizontal leading line gives a feeling of calm, a vertical line a sense of strength, and utilizing diagonal or multiple lines can imbue a landscape with a real sense of dynamism. Consider what it is about the landscape you’re trying to capture, and use lines to amplify that essence.
Shutter Speed: The Ultimate Control
Speed is your friend in fine art photography, and I don’t mean leaving everyone in your wake at sports day. A sense of movement (or lack thereof) gives a landscape that little bit extra. A long shutter speed can be used to give a rushing waterfall that silky smooth look, give the stars a slow crawl across a night sky, or some kinetic energy to a babbling brook. Conversely, snap the shutter for a fraction of the time to capture a dramatic freeze frame of a tumultuous sea.
Turn around: Evaluate Your Surroundings and Go With the Flow
You’re a master of your equipment and have no issues with hopping out of bed at an ungodly hour to soak your lens with the rays from the golden hour – but something’s not quite right; something you can’t put your finger on is stopping you from hanging your work in a Fine Art Photography Gallery.
Try literally turning around. Sometimes a rigid plan can work against you, and despite researching the best possible viewing points the results are off somehow. A little on-the-fly exploration can go a long way, fuelling creativity and translating your new found sense of discovery into your images.
Fine art photographers will testify that capturing the emotion of a place is the key to producing a great landscape photograph, but identifying this element doesn’t make it any less elusive. Keep these tips in mind and your work could be adorning the walls of a Fine Art Photography Gallery sooner than you think.