Avoid These Composition Mistakes

In landscape photography, good composition is as important as the right light. A photo with amazing light won't necessarily be great unless the elements within the frame are properly composed. William Patino offers tips on effective composition and what to avoid.

Follow Patino as he analyzes some of his earlier images, demonstrating how not to compose photos. Many photographers, including myself, have experienced this: capturing scenes with spectacular light and using an extreme ND filter, thinking it's a recipe for a great photo. But it's not always that simple.

Reviewing both old and recent work is a valuable exercise, as Patino suggests. His earlier work, he reveals, lacked an essential element: depth. He discusses how to achieve depth through linear perspective, showcasing examples from his more recent work. Patino presents various methods, from the subtle to the obvious.

Balance is also crucial for successful composition. I approach composition by thinking of scales, aiming to balance visual weight across the image. Patino shares examples where balance is off and others where it's well-maintained. He also explains how the placement of the horizon can influence the overall balance and emphasize different elements in a photo.

To learn more and see Patino's examples firsthand, it's worth watching his video, which is rich with insights and lessons.

Michael Breitung's picture

Michael Breitung is a freelance landscape and travel photographer from Germany. In the past 10 years he visited close to 30 countries to build his high quality portfolio and hone his skills as a photographer. He also has a growing Youtube channel, in which he shares the behind the scenes of his travels as well as his knowledge about photo editing.

Log in or register to post comments

The one thing you are not clarifying when you state "The Eye" is drawn to this way or that way is a person's eye vision moves due to small clarity area but with peripheral blur around it. An image made with a camera is sharp side to side and up to down that is the cameras optic. The human eye is a scanning moving to and fro and up and down with only a small area that is sharp. No matter a postcard image or a large poster size or larger say a billboard the brain scans with an area that is sharp like a copying machine scans line by line but also side to side. The peripheral (blurriness) makes it seem as a whole is in focus. This example: you are in traffic and looking at the license plate as you stare at it see the peripheral as tail lights, bumper even the rear glass will be a blur.
It is the scanning with sharpness area that you try to get someone to scan the image that will follow and make the whole image seem sharp corner to corner.
Another is when editing on your computer screen you edit small sections but see the whole image somewhat clear.
Some people can scan a whole line of print but most only see one or two words clearly as they read.
It is the scanning that you want to control when framing a shot. I just learned, after showing the first image, that someone could not see the horse's head to left of the entrance and the face of the rider (I believe it is) to the right of entrance and if looking you see the faces of others in the rocky sides. I saw all after leaving and looking back while the tour guide went back leaving the light on inside, looking at the formation inside it looks like chief yelling at someone also. This is just real not a psychological test of what you see for all those images on the net that ask what do you see first I see all before it is stated what is there.
Just saying when out and about you should see more than the sky and foreground but the whole of it for framing.
Another not seen till processing is the Pirate in the foreground sand. Or the next image faces in the USS Arizona oil (2006).
Or the smiling face of the Milky Way, the early season Picasus on it's side but the late season the flying horse with wings colors of yin and yang of magenta and baby blue.
I guess it is a kid thing looking at clouds and seeing what they look like. Some see and some do not see!!!