Video: Composition tips for outdoor photographers


posted Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 4:00 PM EDT


We often feature vlogs from the field with nature and landscape photographer Adam Gibbs. However, this week, we're staying inside the office with Gibbs as he discusses a wide variety of his impressive photographs, highlighting different composition tips and discussing light.

Before sharing Gibbs' video, it's worth briefly discussing the value of looking closer at your own work. While lessons are attained by being out in the field and capturing images, there's also a lot to be learned by taking the time to study your past images. Learning what you like, and perhaps as importantly, what you dislike, about some of your work will help inform how you want to approach similar situations down the road.

In the video below, Gibbs shows many different photos with varied subjects, moods and compositional styles. Generally, when Gibbs approaches a scene, he's seeking out contrast in nature. It can be contrast in light, texture and color. The quality of light also matters. When photographing in harsh light, different aspects of a scene are accentuated. Gibbs prefers softer light most of the time because it allows him more time to approach a scene and capture photos.

Early in the video below, Gibbs talks about his background as a garden photographer. It was how he made his living as a professional photographer for a time. Photographing gardens informs how he photographs now. It offered him considerable opportunity to build compositional muscles.

'For me, the most enjoyable part about photography is not necessarily the final image, it's just the process of making those images and kind of figuring out those little puzzles of how to put a composition together,' Gibbs said when looking at an image that he admits is somewhat static and unexciting. 'That's what I really enjoy.'

Gibbs' new video is a tough one to summarize, as it's long and wide-ranging, so sit back and enjoy the full 30-plus minutes of listening to a talented photographer talk about composition and light. You're sure to get some new ideas to try out on your own photographic journey.

To see more from Adam Gibbs, visit his website and follow him on Instagram. To see more of his videos, check out his YouTube channel.

(Via Adam Gibbs