Something I heard on a podcast years ago (I can’t remember which one) stuck with me until now and it’s always in the back of my mind when I’m thinking about what to shoot next.
I don’t think I’ve talked about it before, so let me give you the basic concept so that you too can keep it in the back of your mind when planning a photo shoot.
The idea is this:
“Interesting shots can always be found on the edge”
The edge of what?
Any two naturally contrasting things.
It’s a slightly abstract idea, so here are a few examples:
THE EDGE BETWEEN NIGHT AND DAY
In other words, sunrise and sunset. Most of us would agree that the “best” light for landscape photography is around these times, so for this example, it’s probably something we’re already doing without necessarily thinking about the “edge” concept.
THE EDGE BETWEEN LAND AND SEA
Living by the coast, I tend to shoot more seascapes than anything else. And again, this was something I was already doing before I heard of the idea we’re talking about today.
However, looking at it with hindsight, it fits nicely with the concept.
THE EDGE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW
Imagine a photo of a brand new skyscraper.
Now imagine a photo of the same skyscraper but next to it is the old-timey store that’s been run by the same family for 150 years and who refused to sell to the skyscrapers developers.
The second imaginary shot would tell a more interesting story I think.
Or imagine a portrait of a 100-year-old person playing angry birds on their iPhone.
Or a photo of the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, but included in the shot is the KFC “restaurant” that overlooks them… Not necessarily a beautiful photo, but it tells an interesting story!
(And if you haven't been, yes, there IS a KFC right next to the Sphinx… Unbelievable).
THE EDGE BETWEEN SOFT AND HARD
In the shot I’ve shared at the top, there is soft silky flowing water mixed with hard, jagged rocks.
Other examples could include a portrait of a person with soft smooth skin against a backdrop of a grimy derelict building. Or a photo of a gently swaying wheat field with a large, harsh-looking combine harvester cutting through it.
THE EDGE BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARK
Different to between night and day, this speaks to edge between light and dark regardless how it’s created. But the perfect example here would be a silhouette of a person, building, or anything really.
THE EDGE BETWEEN SOLID AND LIQUID
A couple of examples here can include the edge of a glacier where icebergs break off and melt into a lagoon.
Or the earth in its molten state pouring out of a volcano. (This one is on my bucket list!)
Anyway, that’s just a few to get you started.
There are certainly a LOT more examples and they’re not all ideal for landscape photography, but it’s a fun exercise just to brainstorm over a nice cuppa.
Now, all of the above relates to picking and shooting your subject…
But as you know, that’s only half the job.
To help you over the line with the other half, i.e. processing your images in Photoshop…
…take a look at this. (click here)