Bringing a Sense of Harmony to Your Photographs

A mountain track over a high country tussock pass on the road between Queenstown and Wanaka, New Zealand.

This photo was made on the Crown Range during a drive from Queenstown to Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand. As you can see this is a photograph of a mountain scene leading the eye up towards sky and clouds.

But what ties these elements together and makes for a harmonious image? On one level it's the color contrast between the warm grasses and the cool blue sky. 

Digging Deeper

But images rely as much on similarities as they do upon differences. Notice how the texture of the grasses is suggested or referred to in the clouds above.

As Above So Below

Taking our reading of the image a step further might lead one towards exploring the more spiritual or mythic elements within the image. I refer here to the contrast between the earth bound elements, associated with land and rock, compared to the more intangible, metaphorical aspects associated with sky and cloud.

A stunning view on a beautifully clear day over Lake Hayes towards distant mountains, Otago, New Zealand.

The Power Of Duality

Working with dualities (i.e., opposites) will help you produce compelling images. Just as male and female; light and dark; and warm and cool go together, it's the harmonious combination of opposite elements that make for a successful composition.

Your Photos Are More Than What You See

There's so much going on around us that much of our life is given over to distractions. One of the greatest gifts associated with landscape photography is that it encourages us to focus our attention on what's important, that which is within the bounds of the photographic frame and that which is referred to.

In Photography Less Is More

It's important to understand that what we exclude from the frame is as important as what we include. I believe this to be a fundamental concept in composition. It's at the very heart of minimalism and can also serve to clarify any theme, message and meaning in our photographs. We should all make images underpinned by the notion that less is more.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru