brown mountains
Photo by Roberto Nickson on

Day Six: “Landscape” — Crop Your Image

Today, let’s walk in the footsteps of masters like Ansel Adams and focus on landscape photography.

Landscapes generally focus on wide, vast depictions of nature and all of its elements, from formations to weather. In this genre of photography, you won’t find much of a human presence: nature itself is the subject. A focus on nature isn’t mandatory, however — you can also capture a sweeping panorama of a city.

Today, take a picture of a landscape. Focus on the gestalt — the entire setting as a whole, like the shot above of the English countryside in Kent — rather than a specific subject or focal point within the scene. The setting itself is the star.

Today’s Tip: You may have trained your eye to crop your photo while viewing it “in camera.” But if not, crop your landscape photo once it’s uploaded onto your computer, using a free image editor like PicMonkey or Pixlr.

We hope you’re having fun scouting and taking your landscape photos! If you’re looking for inspiration, take a peek at the landscapes of nature photographer Kerry Mark Leibowitz. Her shots of national parks in North America are stunning.

Ready to crop your photo? Sift through your images from today’s shoot and find a candidate that needs cropping. Or, if you come up empty, look back to previous shots from the course or pick an image from your Media Library.

Things to look for:

  • Stray objects in the background, near the frame’s edges and corners.
  • People around the perimeter that have “photo-bombed” your picture.
  • A foreground or background that is too prominent or “heavy.”
  • A composition that is too-centered (with your subject in the middle), that might benefit from cropping along two sides (in other words, cropping to the Rule of Thirds).
Cropping the right side of today's landscape image in PicMonkey.
Cropping the right side of today’s landscape image in PicMonkey.

There are many tools available for free on your computer or even on your phone. If you have something in the photo that you really don’t want, use these tools to crop off what you don’t want. It will make a better photograph.

Your city might make a beautiful landscape picture. Look for the best angle to get the best part of your city.

All this week, the series continues: Developing your eye. Read these articles carefully to learn what you need to “see” better photos.

Many times professional photographers prefer to use Wide Angle lenses (click on that link to see what is available for your camera) to get the best landscape photos.

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