Learn to Balance Your Compositions (Landscape Photography)

In Landscape/Nature by Jim Harmer

Balance for composition in landscape photography is important.

See how the light, the sun, and the edge of the dock are too aligned in this composition? The composition would be stronger if I had scooted over a few inches so the light was to the left and the line of the dock were too the right.

I listened to an interesting discussion on Kerry Garrison's audio podcast this last week. The topic was balance in photographic composition.  I thought the principle they were teaching would also be helpful for you all, so today's post is an example of how balance in photographic composition can improve your landscape photography.

I took the photo featured on this page (click to enlarge it) at the Naples City Dock in Naples, Florida, USA.  The sunrise was beautiful and there were great clouds in the sky.  I chose to use the interesting street light as a foreground element to add depth to the photo.  The photo is beautiful and has great color, but the composition could have been improved with better balance.

You can see that the overhead light, the rising sun, and the line of the edge of the dock are all aligned in the photo.  This makes the photo feel center-heavy.  If the composition were scooted over a few inches to push the overhead light to the left and the dock line to the right, the photo would feel more balanced.

I'm sure you already knew that balance is important to composition before reading this article, but sometimes reviewing an example can help you to solidify your understanding of proper composition.

Want to know even more about how you can get that epic composition in less time? Check out Jim's Block Method Composition Training (includes bonus video training: “The Balanced Composition”)!

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About the Author

Jim Harmer

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Jim Harmer is the founder of Improve Photography, and host of the popular Improve Photography Podcast. More than a million photographers follow him on social media, and he has been listed at #35 in rankings of the most popular photographers in the world. He blogs about how to start an internet business on IncomeSchool.com..