Landscape photography: this is how you can create compositions that go beyond the 2/3 rule


What exactly makes a good photo? The answer is not easy, because many aspects come together here: light and mood, an appealing motif … But one thing predominates: the composition. It is the main connecting element of the various image properties.

It is the area on which we landscape photographers can strongly influence: for example by positioning and choosing the angle of view, focal length, exposure time. Composition is the most effective tool for weighting individual elements and thus establishing an emotional connection with the viewer. It is a visual structure that is centrally dedicated to the selection and arrangement of picture elements in a certain room. Composition is the language with which photographers make themselves understood in different ways. The syntax of this language is complex and varied. Even after more than a decade in this profession, I don’t want to say that I have completely mastered it. If there is one aspect of photography that you never stop learning about, it is certainly the composition of the image.

A dramatic perspective can also turn a quiet morning by the sea into an eye catcher.

Nikon D850 | 14 mm | ISO 100 | f/11 | 2 s

Whether and when one is considered successful is to a certain extent subjective and depends on the viewing habits of the photographer and the viewer. Nevertheless, there are some fundamental relationships in the composition of the picture that can also be found in art history, especially painting. Painters dealt with the positioning of important pictorial elements hundreds of years ago. We photographers have only been involved for 150 years. Accordingly, I always like to be inspired by the landscape painters of bygone days. Because the compositional approaches are comparable with each other.

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