Landscape Composition Tutorials

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Are you looking to take your landscape photography to the next level? If so, then you should consider learning the basics of landscape composition. Landscape composition is an important component of creating stunning images that capture the beauty of the natural world. With the right knowledge and practice, you can create captivating images that will draw attention to your work. In this tutorial, we'll explore the fundamentals of landscape composition and provide some helpful tips and tricks to get you started on your journey.


Framing is one of the most important aspects of landscape composition.

By utilizing the environment around you, you can create an effective frame for your image that directs the viewer's eye through the scene. To do this, you can use natural elements such as trees, rocks, or buildings, as well as man-made elements such as fences or walls. When you are framing your image, it is important to consider the balance between foreground and background elements. You want to make sure that both elements are equally visible and that they complement each other in an aesthetically pleasing way.

For example, if you are using a tree as your foreground element, make sure that it does not overpower the background. In addition to utilizing natural and man-made elements to frame your image, you can also use leading lines to draw the viewer’s attention to a particular area of the image. These lines can be created by a path, a stream, or even a fence. By using leading lines, you can create a more dynamic composition and lead the viewer’s eye to your subject.

Finally, when framing your image, make sure to pay attention to the edges of the frame. If there are distracting elements at the edges of your image, they can detract from the overall composition. Try to avoid including elements at the edges of your frame that are unrelated to the subject or that draw attention away from it.


Lighting plays a major role in landscape photography, as it can be used to create an atmosphere of beauty or mystery. Backlighting, sidelighting, and golden hour light are all excellent ways to bring out the best in your compositions.

Backlighting is achieved when the light source is located behind the subject you’re photographing. This technique is especially useful for emphasizing texture and shape in a landscape. It can also be used to create a beautiful rim light effect around your subject. Sidelighting is when the light source is located at an angle to the subject.

This can be used to create strong shadows, which help to add drama and depth to a scene. The golden hour, also known as magic hour, is the time of day when the sunlight is at its most beautiful. This is usually an hour or so before sunset or after sunrise. During this time, the low angle of the sun casts a warm, golden light across the landscape.

This type of light can be used to create stunning and dramatic photographs. By experimenting with different lighting techniques, you can create unique and powerful compositions that capture the mood of your scene. Whether you’re shooting during the day or at night, understanding how to use light and shadow will help you create beautiful images.


Color is a powerful tool in creating stunning landscape compositions. Color temperature, color contrast, complementary colors, and other techniques can be used to add visual harmony to a composition.

Color temperature is one of the most important aspects of landscape composition. It refers to the warm or cool tones in the scene. Warm tones are usually associated with sunset or sunrise and can give a composition a cozy, inviting feeling. Cool tones tend to evoke feelings of calmness and serenity.

Color contrast is another important factor when considering the composition of a landscape. High contrast between colors can help create interesting shapes and patterns that draw the viewer's eye. Contrast can also be used to draw attention to particular elements in the scene, while softer contrasts can be used to create a more unified feel. Complementary colors are two colors which are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green or blue and orange. Using these complementary colors can create a visually pleasing effect in a landscape composition.

In conclusion, using color to create visual harmony in landscape compositions is an important skill for any photographer. By understanding color temperature, contrast, and complementary colors, you can craft stunning compositions that will captivate viewers.


When it comes to landscape composition, understanding the different elements and how to arrange them is key. There are three main components that should be considered: foreground interest, mid-ground elements, and background elements. Foreground interest helps draw the viewer into the scene and provides a sense of depth.

This can be achieved by including something in the foreground that is in sharp contrast to the background, such as a large rock or a tree. Mid-ground elements provide a bridge between the foreground and the background, helping to bring the image together. Examples of mid-ground elements include buildings, trees, and other objects that are not as prominent as the foreground elements. Background elements complete the composition, creating a sense of distance and context.

Examples of background elements include mountains, clouds, or even distant cities. Once you have identified the different elements in your composition, it's important to arrange them for maximum impact and visual balance. Start by looking for lines or shapes that will lead the viewer’s eye through the image, such as rivers or paths. You should also consider how the different elements interact with each other, making sure they don't distract from each other.

Finally, make sure there is an appropriate amount of negative space in the image to give your composition a sense of balance.


Perspective is an important element of landscape composition. Using different perspectives can help create a more interesting, impactful image. To get the best perspective for your landscape shots, it's important to understand the different types of lenses and viewpoints available.

Wide Angle Lenses

Wide angle lenses are great for capturing expansive landscapes and for creating a sense of depth in your images.

They allow you to fit more into the frame, giving your image more context and making it feel more dynamic. When shooting with a wide angle lens, be sure to pay attention to the distortion it can cause. This can be corrected in post-processing, but it's best to avoid it in the first place.

Telephoto Lenses

Telephoto lenses are great for creating compressed images with a shallow depth of field. They can also be used to bring distant subjects into the frame.

When using a telephoto lens, be sure to pay attention to the background elements. This will help you create a more balanced composition.

High Viewpoints

High viewpoints are great for taking advantage of the expansive nature of a landscape. They give you an aerial perspective that can be used to capture sweeping vistas and show off the grandeur of a scene. Be sure to watch out for any obstructions that may be blocking the view from a high viewpoint.

Low Viewpoints

Low viewpoints can add drama and impact to a landscape image.

They can be used to emphasize the foreground elements and make them appear larger than life. When shooting from a low viewpoint, be sure to look out for any distracting elements in the background.

Rules of Composition

Capturing a beautiful landscape is an art form, and creating stunning compositions relies heavily on understanding and applying the rules of composition. In this tutorial, we'll discuss the most important rules of composition and how they can help you create more dynamic images. The Rule of Thirds is one of the most well-known rules of composition. It states that by dividing the frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically, you can create more interesting and visually appealing compositions.

The rule suggests that your main focal points should be located along the vertical and horizontal lines or at their intersections. This creates a more balanced composition and directs the viewer's attention to the subject. The Golden Ratio is another rule of composition that can help you create more pleasing compositions. This rule states that if you divide the image into two parts, then the ratio of the larger part to the smaller part should be 1.618. By applying this ratio to your image, you can create a more harmonious composition. The Leading Lines rule states that you should use natural lines in your compositions to lead the viewer's eye to the subject. These lines could be roads, pathways, rivers, fences, or anything else that can direct the viewer's gaze towards the subject. The Simplicity rule states that you should keep your compositions as simple as possible.

This means avoiding clutter or elements that distract from the main subject. The fewer elements in your composition, the easier it will be for viewers to identify and focus on your subject. The Framing rule states that you should use elements in your composition to frame your subject. This could include trees, arches, doorways, or any other objects that can help draw attention to your subject. By understanding and applying these rules of composition, you can create more dynamic images and take your landscape photography to the next level. By following these guidelines and practicing regularly, you can become a master of landscape composition. With practice, patience, and an open mind, you can create stunning images that capture the beauty of nature.

Framing, elements, color, lighting, perspective and rules of composition are all important aspects of landscape composition. With a bit of knowledge and plenty of practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful, memorable landscape images that are sure to impress.

Conrad Giller
Conrad Giller

Professional Photographer. Friendly music fan. Hardcore beer ninja. Friendly twitter enthusiast. Typical internet maven. Total travel aficionado.