Advice For Composing Mountain Landscape Photographs

Get a behind the scenes look at photographing mountain landscapes in this video brought to you by Alex Nail Photography

Based in Bristol, England, Nail is a full-time landscape photographer. In 2017, the photographer won the mountain category in the International Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards with his image, "Uxatindar in Iceland." Also in 2017, Nail became the runner-up in the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year contest. In addition to landscape photography, Nail shoots and creates time-lapse films and gives talks at photography trade shows. 

In the video above, the photographer brings us into his thought process when looking for and capturing mountain compositions. Personally, I resonate with Nail's approach when creating landscape images in the mountains. I find that I think in a similar way and, over the years, have realized it to be one of the most effective processes.

The first step in this process that is extremely effective is to take a step back and look at the wider view before diving in to various sections of the overall panoramic view. As Nail suggests, I think that picking out your subject and focus in the background then helps focus on the foreground and how best to tie a overall scene together. 

One way to help break up a wide panoramic view into different sections after picking out a solid background is by looking at ridge lines and mountains in the middle ground. By using dynamic or diagonal lines and shapes in the middle ground, you can more easily tie together a scenic background and engaging foreground by having a curved line bring your viewer's eye across the composition. 

For more helpful tips and a behind the scenes look on the thought process when composing mountain landscape photography, watch the video above. 

Tim Behuniak's picture

Timothy Behuniak is a Salt Lake City-based landscape and outdoor adventure photographer who's passionate about getting lost in the woods with his camera. Tim's hope is that his viewers, like him, will one day love and fight to protect the beautiful locations he is fortunate to photograph.

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Nice video with some great tips! I skied and shot this mountain in April. Amazing area, but we were cursed with a nasty haze from a dust storm in the Sahara. Thats a tough climb on foot. I would highly recommend skiing it as its faster, more efficient and more fun!

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