Landscape Composition: The “S Curve” Is a Powerful Visual Device for Great Nature Photos (VIDEO)

Most experienced nature photographers will tell you that great light is the key to spectacular landscape photographs. But when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, it’s time to turn to compositional devices like the powerful “S Curve” if you don’t want to come home empty-handed.

Such was the case with landscape photographer Thomas Heaton who arrived on the British coast before dawn, in an attempt to shoot sunrise photos at a spot where he earlier captured a dramatic sunset. Unfortunately, Heaton was greeted with heavily overcast skies that “snuffed out any chance for beautiful sunrise photos.”

The ever-resourceful Heaton turned to his bag of compositional tricks and kept hiking until he found a scene with a faintly illuminated river shaped like an S Curve leading out to the placid sea. As you watch Heaton quietly go about his work, you’ll pick up some valuable tips on composition, exposure, filter use, lens choice, and other aspects of landscape photography that make his work so special.

You can follow Heaton on his photographic journeys by visiting his YouTube channel, and be sure to look at our earlier story with four common composition mistakes to avoid at all costs.