It’s Time to Rethink Your Style of Composition When Shooting Outdoors (VIDEO)

When one of our favorite nature photographers says he “had a bit of a light bulb moment” this week while judging the World Landscape Photographer competition, examining over 6,500 images, we stop and listen. And you should too, because in the video below he shares a few ideas on composition that will greatly improve your outdoor photography.

British pro Nigel Danson isn’t given to hyperbole, but after dissecting thousands of contest entries to determine what works and what doesn’t, he says he had a revelation. While Danson doesn’t subscribe to any definitive rules, he notes that, “There are certain techniques that work better than others.” And that’s what he explains below.

After sharing his tips in this helpful tutorial, Danson presents some of his favorite images from the World Landscape Photographer competition—many of which should provide you with a wealth of inspiration. And if you want to view all the winning entries, you can do so by visiting the contest’s website.

One of the characteristics of the photos Danson liked best is the manner in which they were composed to lead a viewer’s eyes through the image. He uses a few of his images, and others from the contest, to illustrate exactly what he means.

In addition to providing a number of helpful composition tips, Danson revisits a few images he shot in the past, which he thought were pretty good at the time. But after rethinking what it takes to make a truly superb shot, he modestly explains where he made a number of mistakes.

If a guy like Danson can refine his composition techniques, you can too. So watch the video and up your game.

You can find a bunch more great tips on Danson’s YouTube channel, and in our recent post illustrating mistakes to avoid when shooting landscape photos with a telephoto lens.