Composition is everything

Tree in a forest

Landscape photography is all about taking your time to explore the terrain. Unfortunately, it is only all too easy to spot a subject, raise your camera, line up and take the shot, whilst comply ignoring any distractions that creep into your composition.

This photo is an excellent example of missing the distractions because I was too focused on getting the shot.

A little background, this photo is from a recent holiday to the island of Madeira. The island is famous for its lavada waterways which provide excellent walking paths across the island. So it was on one such walk that snapped this photo of a gnarly tree.

So, what's wrong with the shot? Well, several things; Firstly, the foreground distracts from the subject. Recomposing the shot further to the right would help to remove the foreground tree from blocking the subject tree. As this is a wide angle lens, getting closer to the subject would really help to exaggerate the branches. Secondly, the sky is blown out. A simple ND gradient filter, or using exposure bracketing would help here. Unfortunately, as this was a handheld shot, bracketing would be out of the question, and as this was a shot of opportunity, I didn't have any filters available.


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About the Author

Phil Balchin is a full-time software developer at Zendesk, previously at Heroku/Salesforce, and Kyan, as well as a part-time photographer living in Guildford, Surrey, UK. | | | | |
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