This video is all about composition tips at the point of capture. If you’re struggling with composition when it comes to travel and landscape photography, make sure you take notes during this video. Pye also shares some of his favorite tools in LuminarAI to aid in a stronger composition. To follow along during this tutorial, download the exercise files and download Luminarᴬᴵ (you can use the code SLRLOUNGE for $10 off!) to edit with me!
Video: Landscape Composition Tips ft. Luminarᴬᴵ
Gear Used in This Tutorial
1. Rule of Thirds
To be really honest, I think this is one of the most overused compositional tools. The rule of thirds can often lead to a less interesting image but is a great place to start. In LuminarAI you have the ability to access the overlay grid when correcting the crop of the image. For me, this wider shot is far more interesting than an image so the rule of thirds is a great foundational composition rule but once you’ve mastered its focus on working beyond it.
I had my doubts about Luminarᴬᴵ’s Composition AI when I first heard of it because I didn’t trust that it would know what I intended for the photograph. How could it compute how much negative space or symmetry was needed? If we try using it on this particular image it automatically selects the rule of thirds. If you’re learning composition this is a fantastic tool for your toolkit because it’s going to give you suggestions to make a more compelling photograph and help you better understand how to create that composition in-camera for the next time.
If you analyze the photograph above you can see that the negative space on this right side leaves the image, in my opinion, unbalanced. One of my favorite things to do is look for other objects in the scene, sometimes this means walking around in search of a better angle, to create a sense of balance within the image. In this particular case, I was able to do that by zooming out to include the dock and smaller boats for context and balance.
3. Capturing Action
There is a lot of action when it comes to landscape and travel photography and you can use that as a compositional tool as well as a storytelling tool for your photos. In this image, we are focusing on capturing the motion in the waves to show how powerful they truly are. I switched to a 70-200mm lens to get closer to the action without changing my proximity to the wave. We often don’t see action as a compositional tool because it requires a broader understanding of camera settings to achieve slower/faster movement.
4. Negative Space
Positive space is defined as the primary subject(s) in a photograph, while negative space is the space around and between the subject(s). Negative space, which can also be referred to as white space, is a common concept also used in art, design, architecture, and sculpture for hundreds of years. You can see how I used the negative space in this image to help draw attention to the kayakers so the viewer has no other distractions.
5. Shoot for the Story
When you look at these images none of these images are particularly interesting in and of themselves, but when you group them together you can see the whole story. Capture the details in a scene across a spread of images so shoot as a spread that’s tip number five and what you’ll see is as these five images by themselves aren’t that interesting when you place them together on the screen or on a blog or in a piece of wall art then they become far more interesting. I love this technique because oftentimes one single image isn’t really going to capture all the great stuff that you’re seeing in a particular location so instead zoom in focus on the details and shoot it as a complete set of images.
I hope you enjoyed the look at kind of composition ai and how it can help you when it comes to composing your images and also some of my favorite features about working in Luminarᴬᴵ. Check out more of our editing tutorials over on their YouTube channel and make sure you subscribe to find out their latest updates and features.