How to improve your landscape compositions

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Leading lines are a useful way to simplify a composition, so it’s a visual device that goes hand in hand with other simplifying techniques like using a long exposure to blur water here. In this project, we’ll explore both techniques – how to use both leading lines and motion blur to strengthen your compositions.

Top tips: On the straight and narrow

Beautiful blurred water

Neutral Density filters lessen the flow of light into your lens, enabling you to lower your shutter speed (making a tripod a must) for a blurred water effect. ND filters come in different strengths or ‘stops’, from subtle to almost opaque. The strength you need will depend on how slow you want to go. Each stop lets you double your shutter speed, so a three-stop ND reduces 1/60 sec to around 1/8 sec, while a 10-stopper takes 1/60 sec to 15 seconds.

1. Walk the line

Stroll around any location and you’ll find plenty of lines to work with. For landscapes, the ideal line leads the eye from the foreground to a distant subject (a path or wall will do this), but interpreted more loosely, ‘leading lines’ could mean any line that draws the eye into the frame.

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