How can the rule of odds and foreground elements help improve your landscape photography?
posted Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM EDT
As is the case with all types of photography, composition is hugely important in landscape photography. Unlike some genres of photography, such as portraiture, you don't have control over the light and you have no control over your subject. You can't move the ocean or mountains, after all. However, you do have control over how you set up your camera and frame the scene.
Photographer and Nikon Ambassador Ross Hoddinott has created a new tutorial with NatureTTL in partnership with B&H Photo Video all about landscape photography composition. In particular, Hoddinott teaches you how to use your foreground to create depth in your landscape images.
If you compose your image well, you will have foreground elements which lead your viewer's eye through the scene from front to back while also having an image with depth. You don't want your landscape photograph to be flat, but rather you want to transport the viewer to where you were when you captured the photo. You must be careful that your foreground elements do not dominate the frame, however, but rather complement the overall scene.
I'm sure you have heard of the "rule of thirds," but what about the "rule of odds?" It basically states that it's good to have an odd number of subjects in your photo, be it three rocks or five mountain peaks or perhaps nine trees. In general, an odd number of subjects is more visually appealing than an even number. Of course, rules in photography are meant to act only as guidelines, but the rule of odds is well worth considering when out in the field.
In the video above, Hoddinott used some very nice gear. He worked with a Nikon D850 camera with a Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 lens. The gear was stabilized on Gitzo Systematic tripod legs with a Manfrotto 405 Geared Head.