Friday, February 5, 2016

Should Landscape Photographers Include People in Photos?

“When we tune in to an especially human way of viewing the landscape powerfully, it resonates with an audience.” Galen Rowell
Landscape photographers try to express their feelings and emotions they experience while watching the beauty of nature.
Some photographers do not include people and manmade objects in their images. Others consider that including people in your photos is the way to make your landscape images more interesting.


Sometimes the wide open landscape may look stunning to your eyes, but unfortunately your photo seems flat.

If you do not include people in your landscape images try these tips and maybe you’ll find your photos more interesting.

1. Add a sense of scale.
Landscape photographers often deal with great spaces without distractions, such as wide open fields of wheat, a lot of sky, a boundless sea, etc.
But if you place a person in the photo, you will add a sense of scale to the scene. The small person in the frame emphasizes the gorgeous landscape.


2. Use a person as the focal point.
The focal point of the photo generally is the main subject, the central point of interest in your image. It’s the place for the eyes of a viewer where he might want to stop and to enjoy the whole image. Without the focal point the viewer’s eyes will be wondering through the image without purpose and the viewer will move to another photo to look at. 
A focal point in the landscape photography can be a tree, a mountain, a cloud. And it can be a person. The human figure can capture the viewer’s attention and can dominate the scene.


3. Add some color.
If you have a person wearing bright color clothes in your photo, you can make your focal point more visible.


4. Tell a story.
A human presence in a landscape photo adds an intrigue: the viewer wonders what the person is doing there, what is the person’s story? It will help to create the longer lasting impression than an image of the same scene without a person.


5. Create silhouettes.
People help you to receive interesting silhouettes in your images.



I’ve been photographing landscapes without people for several years. But now I’m working on bringing “the human element” more into my own photography.


Thank you for reading!

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