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What makes a good photo? There are quite a few criteria in different photographic genres, gesture, gaze, narrative, etc. but for landscape photography, it’s composition that plays one of the biggest roles. It’s a given that the subject plays an important part of any photograph (and I include light as one of the key subjects of most photographs) but it’s the arrangement of components in a frame that separates the snapshot from the masterpiece. I recently read a post on Facebook having to, yet again, tell people that compositional rules are not essential and quite often they’re not useful either. Sadly, many camera clubs, YouTube glitterati, instagrammers and influencers still keep regurgitating the same lines.
In a recent conversation with David Ward and Joe Cornish, we decided it was worth trying to address this. We recorded a podcast (to be featured in the next issue) that ended up as a bit of a history of art but we started to cover some of the fundamentals of the ideas around art, the frame, the idea of ‘photorealistic’ representation, etc. In future podcasts, articles and videos we’ll try to look at some of the components of the composition and we’ll be hoping that you can help out as well. Your feedback on these articles will be a critical part of them - after all, composition is a circular application of design and without a viewer, it means very little. I hope we have fun with the journey!
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I first encountered Nel’s work through the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition. She was a finalist in the creative category with a very delicate, ethereal composition that immediately resonated with me. more
Andrew Bulloch - you won the Youth Category of the Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2017. Could you tell me a little bit about how you got into photography and how you ended up entering and winning the category more
This issue our 4x4 landscape photography portfolio features are from subscribers: Andrew Simpson, João Quintela, Oleg Ershov & Xavier Arnau Bofarull more
No matter how conservative or traditional we are, or wish to be, in our work, I believe that a proactive and rational approach to assimilating (or rejecting) new technologies is a better strategy than to be in denial of them. more
I get the sense that the subject is much deeper than a collection of simple objects in nature, rather, each image asks the viewer to reflect deeper within oneself to find something more. more
Much of Jane’s work evolves around cycles of life; whether we recognise it or not photography is both a response and an antidote for us all to personal circumstances as well as those that impinge upon our existence. more
Dark images can elicit a vicarious emotional response, heightening our senses and engaging us to imagine tension, isolation or a sense of danger. more
I wanted to head deep into the Cairngorms to one of the places I’d longed to photograph in winter for many years; the Loch A’an Basin. more