Michael Breitung Photography

The 3 Ingredients for a great Landscape Photo

Recently I was out for sunrise at a very nice location in the German Rhön. I had a beautiful, gnarly tree as my main subject and I had a spectacular sky above it.

So what could go wrong. It should have been easy to come up with a great photo, right? But there was one ingredient missing. As I explain in the video below, what I didn’t find that morning was a composition that put both elements, the subject and the sky, in harmony. I wasn’t able to tie the elements together in an intriguing way.

A colorful sunrise in the german Rhön

The result is still nice to look at, especially because of the colors. But I also don’t get as excited when looking at it, as with some of my other photos where I managed to come up with a more dynamic composition. Where I was able to balance sky and foreground and have both drawing the viewer into the scene.

Spectacular sunset at Praia da Adraga with waves crashing at the shore

I think this photo is a good example, where all three ingredients play together to create a very dynamic scene resulting in a photo that might intrigue the viewer. It’s one of my favorite photos. See how the lines created by the moving water in the foreground do the same as the moving clouds in the sky: pointing towards the setting sun right between my main subjects, the black rocks that are so characteristic for Praia da Adraga.

But back to that morning in the German Rhön. Here’s the little Vlog I recorded and in which I explain a bit more.

So you see, it’s not always about that colorful sky. You should never forget that in the end the arrangement of the elements in your photo, the decisions you make to include or exclude certain elements, the viewpoint and composition you select are what really make a photo your own and what allow you to create landscape photos that stand out. Because with patience, everyone will eventually have a great sky in front of the lens, but not all know how to use it.

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