Capturing nature’s vistas landscape photography

When you photograph a scene, decide what is its most visually interesting element-a rushing stream, a barren winter tree. Make this the dominant element in your picture to give it a strong center of interest. Try moving closer to the subject and shifting your camera up, down, and to the sides. Climb on a rock or kneel for a better angle. Leave out details in the scene that distract from the subject.

Centering the subject tends to produce a static image. You can get a more dynamic shot by placing the subject to one side. One widely used guideline, the rule of thirds, can help you achieve an interesting visual balance. Mentally draw lines that divide the scene into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. Place the main subject and important subordinate elements along these lines, especially at the points where the lines cross. Also try placing the horizon along one of the lines.

To create a sense of depth, use fences, paths, and hedgerows as eyeleading lines that draw you into the scene. Use foreground trees and boulders to frame the scene. And shoot in the morning or afternoon when the sun creates shadows that add depth.

Even a simple camera will take good landscape shots, and you can get professional quality with a 35mm model. To get the sharpest images, set the lens for a small aperture and use slowspeed film. Also use a tripod. It lets you compose the scene more carefully and use slow shutter speeds when necessary. If your camera takes other lenses, try a wide-angle lens to take in a broad vista. A polarizing filter will darken the sky, making clouds stand out.