Saturday, February 4, 2012

Learning : Creating Pictorial Landscapes


Creating Pictorial Landscapes


Creating pictorial landscapes is a profound desire of photography-lovers. “The photograph which looks picturesque and attracts one intensely at first sight is pictorial.” A few guidelines mentioned here can help us clicking a pictorial landscape.

Proper Light

1. Sun light of early morning or late evening is most excellent for preparing a good photograph.
2. Since this light is soft by character, this lends a hand in highlighting the fine details of the subject. What is more, this light helps colors appearing in their natural form.
3. The angular use of light adds depth and dimension to the scene. Sometimes light coming from behind the object also adds magic to our picture.


The role of good equipments is very important. A D-SLR Camera with one standard zoom lens (such as, 18-55 mm, 18-70 mm etc.) and one tele photo zoom lens (such as 70-200 mm, 70-300 mm etc.) is enough for our purpose. In comparison to standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses are useful in the situation when we have to frame a particular portion of a view. If having two different zoom lenses is not convenient, we can go for a long-ranged zoom lens, such as, 18-200mm, 28-300 mm etc.

In case a high-end D SLR camera is not affordable for someone, there is a wide range of basic and advanced digital compact cameras in market. These cameras are good enough to record fine images. Landscape mode in these cameras helps to take fine images.
The use of a firm tripod is always advisable for shooting landscapes in order to prevent camera shake.


Great depth of field is a requirement of a landscape. For this purpose the use of small aperture (32, 22, 16, and 11) is always advisable. The shutter speed can be set accordingly. If we are using a small aperture in low light condition, a low shutter speed is obviously needed. In such case a tripod is of great use.

ISO Setting

Applying low/medium ISO is helpful in achieving fine-quality landscapes. On the other hand, use of extremely high ISO results into grainy images. So former one is always suggested.


1. We should always tend to compose the pictures with simplicity. Complex composition has to be avoided.
2. Composing the photograph so tightly is to be kept away. Openness of the frame is commendable every time.
3. Involving so many subjects in our photograph is not wise. We have to concentrate at one or at a few subjects.
4. The subject should be very much effective and must convey some message.
5. The harmonization between the subjects is another vital factor of an image. If subjects do not coordinate with each other, the photograph loses its charm.
6. Disturbing objects, like, electric poles/wires, discarded items etc. are to be avoided while clicking the image.
7. If we wish to involve living beings in our picture, it is wise to place them a little away from the midpoint. This will add balance to our image. Furthermore, living beings should look spontaneous.
8. The feel of rhythm is an important part of a good pictorial landscape. This can be created by balanced arrangement of the subjects.
9. Leading lines play a dramatic role in a photograph. We can find these lines in the form of roads, rail tracks, boundaries of farm fields, rows of the trees, fencings etc. These lines lead our vision into the frame or from one point to another. In addition these lines boost rhythm in a picture.
10. The horizon of the scene should be straight.
11. There should be freshness of approach in our composition.

Man-Made Structures in Landscapes

Though natural physical features are the vital parts of a landscape, man-made structures also play an important role in few cases. Cottages, houses, temples etc. sometimes become imperative components of a landscape. If we keep some points in our consideration, we can brilliantly add above said structures in our photograph:

1. Manmade structures should not be very prominent in our photograph. They should be used as supporting elements. This is possible by maintaining proper distance between the camera and the structure or by using a wide angle lens.
2. We should avoid placing the architecture in the centre of a frame as it seems dividing the frame into two parts (left and right). It’s wise to place the supporting figure at any of the golden points as per the rule of third.
3. The structure of any vivid colour will add meaning to the landscape. We have to avoid the structures of dull colours.

Concluding Words

Beyond all the points discussed here, the aesthetic sense of a photo artist is the basis of creating a pictorial landscape. This is inborn in few cases. In some other cases, this develops through regular observation and one’s deep attachment with photography art.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma


  1. very beautiful pictures sir .

    Farhan Khan-Bareilly

  2. Very useful write-up. The images are of great value. I got a lot from your article Sir.

    Praveen S

  3. Dear Dr. Sharma,
    Excellent article explaining the intricate subject in a very easy to understand language. Although shooting a landscape appears easy at first glance, 90% of those shot are failures due to improper composition, slanted horizon etc. Most common pitfall is dividing the frame in half - either vertically or horizontally. I am sure pictorialists - especially those entering the field of landscapes will derive plenty of inspiration from your article. Getting landscapes in Mumbai is next to impossible. Hence I always envy you chaps who are literally in 'Himalaya Ki Gode Mein' as the title of an old movie of Manoj Kumar went.
    Warm rgds.

    Kishore B. Jothady Hon. PSI., APSI

    1. Dear Jothady Saheb,

      Many thanks for your kind words of appreciation.

      --Pankaj Sharma



  5. Dear Pankaj ji,

    Very Good Tips To shoot Landscapes.
    Best wishes to u & ur blog



  6. Many thanks for your appreciation Vinay Ji.

  7. Dear Dr. Sharma,

    Thanks for the pics. Keep well. Gday.

    A. K. Chaudhuri
    Medical Physicist-cum-RSO

  8. Excellent and very helpful explanation and tips on Landscape Photography, accompanied by marvelous landscape shots supporting the subject. Thanks for sharing. Wishing you all the best.

  9. Thanks so much for your kind words Mr. Haria :-)

  10. Respected sir,
    thank u for beautiful and every helpful tutorial on landscape photography. . .it's a privalage to have your ideas and photographs.
    Thanks a lot sir.
    Akhilesh singh

  11. fantasic world of an artist. m fascinated.


  12. sir ji nice photos..

    prashant saxena (through facebook)

  13. To share a knowledge is a noble gesture. Compliments. -- Satvinder Bhamra -- Mumbai

  14. Awesome pictures Sir!
    (Through Facebook)