Landscape Photography Tip #5: Including Wildlife in the Landscape


       Find something new: Foreground elements are always a pleasant addition to a landscape scene. This might be a rock, bush, patch of lighting, or anything else that catches the eye. There are no rules to this however, quite the opposite really. It is best to avoid being 'cliche' in an attempt to grab the viewers attention. Do not do something exactly like another in that area/landscape, that goes against being an artist in general, and most of all, your own creativity will suffer dramatically. Try changing up the angle of view if you are working in an area that has been photographed often. One is always looking for the most flattering angle available, if it has been done before and no other angles work for you, then do it better!

       Include Wildlife in the Landscape to make a Wildscape: I consider a wildscape a scene that conveys a sense of the animals life in the wild. An animal gathering food, building their shelter, or even at play can make for a very emotionally moving element to base a composition around. These scenes can be intimate portraits of an animal, or a distant sprawling landscape of the animal 'doing its thing' without knowing you were ever there. The scene only needs two key things, an animal and its emotion. A scene needs true emotion, for example, a photograph of an animal kept in a zoo (still breathtakingly beautiful) often does not have the same 'wow factor' that a shot of the same animal in the wild has (even if the composition and technical execution are better in the zoo shot). Look for wildlife (respectfully) first, then look for an angle that will allow you to include an element of the landscape surrounding the animal.

Technical details:
Above: 'Otters at Play' Canon 7D, Canon 24-105mm L lens (@105mm), ISO 100, F/5.6, 1/100 second.
Below: 'Cormorants Cliff' Canon 7D, Canon 24-105mm L lens (@105mm), 2-stop graduated neutral density filter, ISO 200, F/11, 2.5 seconds.

Cormorant Cliff

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