“The drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pages in a book” from Russian writer Ivan Turgenev is a quote that resonated with me as I have always been a visual person, and just love how one image can say so many things to a variety of different people.
In the past, photography was regarded as a mere craft. The works of a landscape photographer wouldn’t necessarily be regarded fine art regardless of the aesthetics of the images. It’s not worth losing sleep over how the layman chooses to label your art (and whether they regard you as snap-happy or a producer of fine art photography worthy of being framed next to the great fine art photographers); it is however worth bearing in mind these 3 tips to fine tune your landscapes.
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.