The most important aspect of photography is composition. Now, people struggle with composition as I did when I first started. People don't understand composition, it takes a long time to understand it. So I have designed three simple rules that I go by. That helps me with my composition every single time I'm out shooting. Now what is composition?
Composition is how you paint the photograph. How you when you click that shutter, you already have that photograph in your mind. It's how you compose it, and put it in that lens into that camera to tell the story you're trying to tell. Now, my three rules that I go by, is light, a main subject and leading lines That is light, a subject my word, my focal point where I want my viewers to go to, and leading lines to take me there. Now light photography is light is recording light into a device. So once you have the right light, you know whether it's sunrise sunset, whether it's the middle of the day, if the light is right, which you can accomplish by your settings then you need your other two things which is your main subject, which here it's my horizon, usually in landscape photography or horizon is their main subject.
And then you need leading lines you need to invite people into your photograph somehow. How do you accomplish that? Well, you got to walk around the scene. You got to spend some time looking at the what you have in front of you. Because if you frame the image incorrectly can be a boring photograph. So composition is absolutely everything.
And it's the one thing that most people struggle with. In my workshops. The first thing I ask people is what do you struggle with? Everybody says composition, they don't know where to point the camera. They don't know what they're seeing. And this is why you need to have a clear vision of what you want to put into that photo.
You want to portray, you want to put yourself in that photograph, and you want to invite in guide people into that photograph. So let me explain. So here, I, I want the horizon to be my focal point, right, my mountains. And this beautiful scene of this lake. This is Lake Tahoe, in the sun hadn't set just yet it was probably an hour before it was setting, maybe a little less. But I saw this and I really, really They loved it.
So I wanted this to be my main subject. But I wanted to use this rocks to invite my people into the photograph. So let's dissect the photo. So I placed my camera to the right in front of this of this main rocks here. I wanted the the eye to go to this rocks and then start traveling around and wander into this beautiful, beautiful horizon. So I use this rocks and I also use the movement of the clouds.
You cannot only look at one thing you have to look at multiple things. When you are out there. You can just focus on this big rock and you can just focus on the clouds or on the horizon you have to keep thinking and thinking and have a balanced shot. So here I use the clouds to lead the viewer into the eye into the into the horizon to be to guide the viewers eye into the horizon. Now I wanted this to be my start of the eye of the wandering eye. So when you first look at this photograph, you immediately look at this for this rock, but then your eye immediately wanders off over here.
Now if your eye drops down here, it immediately starts coming back up to the horizon to this rocks. Same here on the on the right hand side, I have this rock that's on purpose. I wanted to catch that to balance the photo out in with this with this particular rock. And also this rocks over here, you're balancing the photo out, you give it a nice balance. And here you're inviting the eyes to walk to the horizon. And as you can see my cloud movement now this, you have to be precise.
I have served the slides for a while and I made sure that the clouds were going the correct way. There are not a lot of clouds, but there are some And there are lines in the within the clouds. So that's how you composition works. So every time you step into, into a scene first look at it. And then imagine, put your feelings in there. Imagine, look at what you're seeing and feel, feel, you know, if you're happy if you're sad.
Put that into your photograph. So if it's very colorful scene, you know, you're obviously happy you're out there looking at things you want to put those feelings in the photograph, or else people won't understand it, people won't see what you're seeing. And you always need leading lines. People have a really hard time with this, but once you get it, you will always get it. So you always need leading lines to invite the viewer into the photo. If you didn't have leading lines, it's just kind of like a snapshot kind of you don't know what you're looking at.
So you have to create this leading lines to invite your viewer and yourself into the photograph. There's three simple rules that I use. But they are very, very important. Again, it's the light, your main subject and your leading lines. If you work with those three, three rules in mind every time you're always going to get a good photograph. So let's go on to the next one.
And this next photo, this is a beautiful photo I really really liked this photo was very, very happy when I shot this, it's an incredible photo. Again, I am metering for, for the brightest, for the brightest spot here where the sun was, and everything else was really dark, but in post production, we can fix that and I will go through that on the editing. As far as the composition goes, I used every single one of these rocks plays a very key role in the composition So as you can see, this is the main rock. This is called the bonsai rock in Lake Tahoe. And it was very important for me to capture that rock. But if I zoom in and just capture that rock, it doesn't make any sense.
So you want to put, you want to start drawing the viewer into the rock by using this other rocks. So I placed myself kind of right in front of this rock. And I looked around and I looked in my viewfinder and I saw this, this rocks here to the side. And that's how I wanted to start my eye to come in here. Same with these display of, of key role in leading your eye into this this bonsai rock. Same with this mountain right here.
When it comes down, that's leading your eye into that rock. And then you have your mountain range. So that's also your main subject. But when you first look at this photo, you immediately see this huge Drop, which is exactly what I was trying to achieve is the story I was trying to tell to my viewers. So here I used very precisely I shot this many different times from very many angles. It just didn't look right.
It didn't look Correct. Correct. It looked unbalanced. It looked up out of proportion. It just didn't look right. until I started experimenting with this composition.
I was actually on top of the rock. A rock panel like this one very uncomfortable. I was kind of wet. It was late, it was cold but I had been shooting all day and and I just wanted to get it right. But if you look at all this photo, all this rocks, they play a very important role in this composition. This this leading lines creates this photograph.
If you just zoom in here, you have nothing you have a rock. That's not photography, photography. Here's how you compose it, how you paint the light. So you always want to use this cloud see these clouds, whether they're coming in in this way, I use those as well to lead the eyes into the rock. So again, the three principles, it's light, beautiful light, my main subject and my leading lines to this main subject into this beautiful light. So every time you're out there, just think about your composition you need, you need an important and important subjects something, something you want to do is to go to and you need some some way of getting the viewer there.
So in this case, they're this rocks again. I every single one of these rocks, I exactly thought of it this way, so I could get this exact result. Now you're gonna fail. A lot of times but if you keep moving around, you'll get it just right. So as you can see this rocks, kind of follow the lines the other oval, and they're pointing at this main rock, that's a key to this composition. This rock is kind of out of place.
But these these rock and this one, they balance it out and keep keep your eye on moving forward. So as you can see, when you first glance at this, your eye starts here, and then you have this rock to jump to jump you more into the scene and if you write comes down a little bit, you have this one that keeps you going. And same with this, let me change into this pen here. Same with this, it creates this line, this continuous line that keeps going this way. And everywhere you looking in this scene, you can see that this rocks are kind of aiming on me and my main subject, simply this rock is an oval, but it's kind of pointing this way. There's this formation of rocks.
Now I shot this formation of rocks as well. And it didn't look interesting. It was just a formation or rocks. But I use them here to kind of guide see how they create this triangle that helps your eye that helps the viewers is kind of close in on your own your subject on your main scene. This is exactly what you're trying to achieve with every single photo that you take. So you need to step back, you need to take your time, and you always need leading lines, always for every single photo.
I'm not sure how other photographers shoot, but I can tell you that without leading lines without some something to invite your eye into the photo. You're not going to create an interesting photo here. You have a lot going on, but it all leads to this question. ticular bonsai rock, and I think the composition is quite nice. Here you have a beautiful mountain range. And here even the light, see how these clouds are also coming in.
Even this, this light right here kind of makes an arrow. And if your eyes thirst and the openness here, it kind of goes over here, and then it jumps to this rock. So in every in every aspect of this photo when you're looking at it, you have this leading lines. Same with this water. Here we have a huge triangle, which is this one. And this closest in again, it's closing in this bonsai rock, so that's composition.
That's what you want. That's what you always want. You want this leading leading lines, and that's where people struggle the most is in composition. without deleting lines. You're never going to get a good photo. So let's go to the next one.
Here we have the Grand Canyon. Again, same exact thing. We have a lot going on here, but we have one main subject, which is the sun. So I want to invite people into the Grand Canyon. But I want him to go to the horizon to the sun. This is a landscape photo, beautiful skies, and I wanted him to come to the sun.
Now I shot this again from many angles, and I couldn't get it just right until I shot it from here. I wanted to get the Colorado River in and I did and it also helps us a leading line. It starts you off here and it kind of disappears goes into nowhere over here, but this helps you right move through the photograph towards your horizon towards your main subject. So again, you have beautiful light, you have a subject and you have leading lines here. I was So able to use the canyons, natural lines, I was able to use those to guide the viewer into the photograph. And if you keep even following this lines right here, you can, you're going to end up coming back.
This just guides you back into this into this beautiful sunset. So again, you want to use leading lines to carry the viewer into the photograph. So every time you're out there and you I seen you look at it, you're gonna see a lot, but focus on your main on your main subject and your main composition and then start working on your leading lines. So here as you can see the the rays of the sun. This were also very important into catching the eye and immediately putting the eye into the horizon. So when you're shooting a landscape, everything is always Listen, focus 90% of the time, everything is always in focus on as you're trying to achieve something else.
But I always shoot everything in focus, which will be at F 11 or above. And I'll walk you in that in the editing videos following this video. But always have this leading lines. As you can see, everything's perfectly in focus. And that's because I want the eye to start walking into the photo. So by this being in focus, you you glance at it and you're like, well that's that's nice, and then you kind of fall into this river.
And all this crevices just walk you right into this, this sunset. If your eye starts off right here, you immediately drop into this, this riches, this lines, this natural Canyon lines, and again, they walk you into the photograph. Now this photo is not very complex in composition. In the in the fact that you have just a big hole on the ground, but I did have to find some sort of, of subject, which was the sun. And then I had to find a way to invite the viewer into that subject. This photo is very beautiful, it's very peaceful.
I felt very at peace when I was shooting it. And I think it shows on this photograph, you always want to put your feeling in that in the photos. As you can see this, these clouds also play a role. They're kind of moving. They, this corner kind of throws you back in and you immediately jump into the sun. So without leading lines, you have nothing I showed.
I shot this right after sunset. It's beautiful, but it's not. It's not the same with the with the sun so prominent right here, which makes the photo very, very beautiful. So again, always focus on your leading lines. It's just it makes the photo even if you come down here, see this little ridges there kind of aiming up. And that in that again, your eye immediately wanders into the sun.
And that's exactly what I was trying to do. So very, very peaceful image, but every single aspect of the image was was thought about and considered. Again, without composition, you don't have an image, you have a boring image, you want to create an exciting image and you want to create something that is meaningful to you, and you want to share that with your viewers. So in that, let's go to the next one. So this is a very different photograph. In that you don't really have a foreground here I did, it's just grass.
But you don't you don't have it's harder. To compose just because of what we had. So let me tell tell you what I what I used and what I did. So I wanted to get the treeline that was my focal point. Obviously my light my light was beautiful I wanted this hold to come through but also this heat from the sun that was settings kind of like ice Icy Hot, but I needed a way to invite the viewer into the photo. So I used this trees.
Let me change to pan here. So I used this trees and this is 123 I wanted this main tree to be my main focal point and my main leading line. So when you glance at this tree, you're immediately in the horizon in the colors. But with this three trees, you create this triangle. You create one here and you create one here. So your eye is always bouncing of this Main tree into this other two little trees, you right can escape that.
And that was done purposely. Again, you can zoom in and get a nice tree line as well. But this one tells more of a story here you have a bay tree, two little guys next to it and then the beautiful image. So it's a very simple image, but in its composition, it was it was complex to make it interesting as opposed to just having a tree line. Let's go to the next one. So here is the same thing, same concept, except I have the sun.
Now of course the sun makes it much more interesting and to some a lot more beautiful. And this is the I really like this image. I compressed the sun I zoomed in and we'll go over the settings in the editing video. So all the settings are on there, but here used all these trees as my leading lines. As you can see all these trees I placed in my camera as leading lines, because I wanted the viewer to immediately just go to the horizon and obviously see the sun. Not that you need much leading lines here because everything's focused around the sun.
But you do need a balance and you do need to invite that viewer in. So he doesn't get lost over here with nothing here, you could have nothing instead you have this trees that keep you in this horizon. So very important to always have your subject surrounded by the leading lines, which in this particular case, they're my trees. And I think this was beautifully done. Now I include a crop the image in the field, I could crop this, this cloud out this cloud out up here, but I decided to keep it because I think this cloud and this black foreground gives you A really nice balance. So it creates mystery.
It creates intrigue in your main scene, which is, again, the sun, the horizon and all this tree lines. So when you're composing a photo, you have to think of every single thing that's out there, including your clouds, how they're forming, and how they affect your foreground. So always keep that in mind when you're out there. Again, you don't have a lot going on here as far as leading lines, but it is very important to have a very well composed, well balanced shot. And again, I achieved that by using this trees as my main leading lines. And of course, the the sun created this beautiful color, which is the beautiful light I was talking about.
So I have light. I have my main subject and I have my leading lines. Let's go to the next one. Now this was a very interesting Morning, there was about 20 photographers and everybody looked really bored because there was no clouds. Now, I wasn't thrilled, but I wasn't. I wasn't quite as sad as everybody else seemed to be, I think we still got a beautiful image here.
And what I did here, I challenged myself to create a beautiful image out of out of, you know, not a lot. So I, I waited for the sun to rise. At this point, most of the photographers were were done, but I waited for the sun to rise. And then I use the leading lines in my palm trees, not only in the palm trees but in the reflection as well. Now this is very important to have the leading lines in this reflection, because this when your eye starts off in this corners, they immediately start walking you into the sun which is your main subject. Same with a pair if your viewer starts from appear you immediately get Get, get caught by the streets.
So your viewer immediately gets drawn into the sun. So no, nobody just glances at the sun real quick, your eye naturally just wanders. That's just how we are. It's just how it works. So here, I also use this middle line. So no matter where you're at, in this photograph, when your eye drops from the top, it gets strong back end by this lines.
So I think it's a very beautiful image. We don't have a lot going on, but we do have a lot. Same with this, this, this race of the Sun here. They also help the viewer draw the eye and now this is something that we do, we don't think about when we look at the picture. We just kind of look at a picture and then our eye starts wandering. But it's your job to keep that eye wandering in the right direction and in a balanced way.
So Again, I thought about my settings so I could get this light race this was shot with a very small aperture so I could get this long race we'll go over those settings in the editing photos in the editing videos. But um, so I thought of everything I thought of the the how I wanted the sun to reflect I thought I wanted this, the reflections on the water to delight me in here. I also wanted my eye not to get lost and confused and bored. So I wanted to use this, this lines as well. So as soon as you glance at this photo from any direction, you're going to get drawn into the sun which is my main subject. So again, you need light, which is nice and and dark here.
That's done purposely. You need a main subject and then you need the lines to invite the viewer into this subject. So not a lot going on but a complex image and it's in its own right. I could have made this completely black, where you didn't see the shadows but then I think you will lose a lot of this, a lot of the, the, into the entry the interesting as of this particular photograph. So let's move on to the next one. So here, this is one of my favorite photos.
Again, you have to put yourself into this photograph. Now, here is my main subject. Immediately, you you're drawn into the beautiful sunset. This is a complex image because it's, it's there's a lot going on here. So once you go once you once you look at this arrow once you look at this federal You immediately get drawn into the sunrise. So when I tell you that you need to put yourself in every single photograph that you do everything that you take, that's exactly what I mean.
In this photograph I, I was the feather and the sun represented kind of the world, you know, this huge, massive thing that you have no control over. And this was my, my walkway to it. I'm kind of walking through life into the world. So I wanted to make sure I got this feather in there. By using a slow shutter speed, I was able to blur the water. And what that did is it created this movement, it energized the photo, it created this movement that helps me and the viewer, lead them into the sunset into the world.
So you're walking into the world here. That's me walking into the world, and this photo has touched a lot of people because they can really feel it and they can understand it and that makes me really happy. They're like wow that feather and that scene is just insane and it is it's cool. Now you're I never gets bored or lost here it's it's an immediate and send immediate thing that you write those you look at the feather, then you look at the sun, period. But when your eye starts wandering anywhere else, all these elements, this clouds drag you back in all this beautiful water, it drags you back in. So you can bounce back and forth from the water to the sun.
And it just you know, that's, that's where you're going here this water. Here's this lines that kind of help you go into the into the feather, which is very, very important for composition for this particular composition. But as soon as you go into the feather, your eyes go into the sun. Again, done intentional. I had a very little time to shoot this photo. But I got it.
So once you get your camera settings on, then you can really get moments like this. So again, you have to put your feelings and your emotions into this photographs. And you have to, you have to have light, your subject here we have to it's more it's a very complex image, and you have to have your leading lines. As you can see, I use the former's leading lines. If you look closely, closely, the sand is going up, so your eyes never dropped down. They just follow this lines.
And as soon as you get here, then you start following the water into the sun. And as you can see the sun right here, I also wanted to get some race here, the stars Starburst effect, but as you can see, here's this triangle. Here's this beautiful triangle of light. So you're always connected. You're always in the sun. Back to the feather.
But your eye is always coming into this direction. So when I say you need leading lines for everything, you need leading lines for everything, whether you shooting a trees or water, your leading lines are the most important period. And I'm very, very happy with this image. This is one of my favorite photos I've ever taken to this day. Let's go on to the next one. So here, same exact thing.
Let me explain this composition. This was more of a complex photo, since there wasn't a lot for me to work with as far as a focal, your main subject. So what I did is let me go into the shapes here. So what I did is I used this as my focal point. So your viewer immediately comes here and starts going into this thing that is my main focal point, but it's also my horizon. Which is, which is this beautiful, beautiful sunrise with this beautiful colors.
But see this little sand lines, those were key in my composition in that I made sure that they sat how they sat in my frame to lead my eye into my main into my focal point. So you can look at it one of two ways. So you can look at this lines and they kind of create this patterns. And you can just kind of slowly fall into it and then you fall into the focal point. Now your eye can also look at these lines and they'll guide you right to this rock. Any one of these lines will lead you right to this rock.
If you start here, you'll come here and then to this rock that was done purposely that way your eye has a balance and has something to follow. So once you once you're here, your eye has somewhere to go. Whether your eye sees it, like I said explained in layers, or whether you write follows this lines into this main line, you immediately go to the, to my focal point to my subject, which is this pattern right here. Now I also use the cloud movement. To help me in this, I shot this from this side and it didn't look any interesting at all. That's because the clouds were coming at me.
They weren't going anywhere else. So by the clouds, by the clouds coming towards me, or into the photo, you can use them to guide the viewer into the photo. Here's this empty emptiness of clouds, it creates an arrow, as you can see, creates a huge arrow, an invisible arrow, and that's dumb purpose, a place that purposely to your eye has somewhere to go to. Same with this line right here. If your viewer gets stuck in this line, it'll guide them right to the subject. So everything is competent.
Every single thing that I do is very well thought of, I don't just point the camera and shoot that will never ever give you a good composition and I cannot repeat that enough is leading lines are just extremely important in creating an interesting subject and an interesting topic for the viewer and for yourself. Again, a very peaceful light morning I was very, very happy and you can see that in the colors you can, you can feel that it's a beautiful image is just nice and fun, and kind of calming and soothing. And I felt very at peace at this moment. And I was I, I think I put that in the photograph. So again, think of every single bit of lines that you see all the patterns you see. So find your subject, you know, find your light, but then make sure you always think of every pattern you see and use those to walk the viewer into the photo.
It is very, very important in creating all of your compositions. It is the only way you're going to create a good composition. Let's go to the next one. So here's another one of my favorite photos, as you can see this photo is it would have been very boring without the clouds and without this grass in the foreground. So what I did here is I did a very long, long exposure because I wanted to blurt this clouds enough to draw my viewer into the composition. I just wanted to get them to the horizon and get myself to the horizon because it's just beautiful, right?
So I use this pattern of grass, which kind of creates a triangle which points at the horizon and then I use this clouds to guide my viewer into the into the photo. As you can see all these clouds no matter what angle you look at, they're pointing that way. Now if I would have shot this from a different angle, the clouds wouldn't have looked this way. They would have been headed towards a different direction. So you always have to follow the clouds. And you always got to find your foreground to match it kind of to you know, to match where your eye is going where you want your viewer to go.
So if that if you can, if you can find that you're not going to get a good a good composition. So, by framing this this way, and by standing where I was standing, I was able to create this composition. And this leading lines lines to invite the viewer into this beautiful horizon. Again, you have light, you have your main subject, and you have this grass to draw the viewer in. Now this grass also serves as leading lines in a very, in a very hidden way. This lines are this grass lines are kind of standing up like this.
And they're they're pointing in a very subtle way. They're pointing the viewer into the horizon. So not only, not only is is the the grass, a good foreground subject, it's also helping the viewer fall into this horizon, which is exactly what I want to do. I think it's a beautiful image, I am very pleased with it. And as you can see this grass if you just follow it along, he points you to the horizon. So all those keys, all those elements play a key role in creating this beautiful compositions.
Let's go to the next one. So here's another very complex photo. This has two elements as well so you have a rock here. You have the rock here and then you have your your sun here. Now again, I wanted to create this Starburst effect to help the viewer fall into the sun a little more. Not that the viewer needs help you have so much going on, but all my lines are Pointing to my scene.
So again beautiful light, a subject. Here we have to two subjects a subject and then your leading lines. So what do you see first when you walk into this image you immediately stare at this photo, but then your eye starts wandering into the sun. And that's why I used this water I used to slow shutter speed to slow down this water switch would come into this your I can come into this beautiful composition. Same here, anywhere you look at this water, the movement I created is for your eyes on purpose for your eye to come into this into this area and start walking towards the sun. So even if you start here off to the side, I use this rocks to guide you to guide the viewer to guide myself into the beautiful horizon into the composition.
Same with this class. I was standing actually on top of this rocks, move moments before I shot it here. And the composition was just completely wrong because the clouds were going the wrong way. So I had to place myself in front of the clouds, since they were kind of creating this V pattern into the sun. And that's what creates this image. So interesting.
It's all these lines that guide you into the sun. And though subtle, subtle lines, but they all make sense. And I thought of them all very, very, very carefully before I started, before I took this photo, I can post this in my head. So again, super important that you know what you're looking at. And that you invite the viewer into this into your photographs by by using these leading lines. Very, very cool photograph and always look Clouds.
A lot of my students always looked at me staring at the sky. They're like, What are you looking at? The clouds are cool, right? I'm like, Yeah, the clouds are cool, but that's not what I'm looking at. I'm looking at the patterns that they're forming and the way which way they're moving, because that's going to invite my viewer into the photograph. So keep that in mind cloud movement, extremely, extremely important.
One to the next one. Here's another complex scene, but I really liked this photo. So I wanted my, my main subject to be this guy, the fisherman, and kind of this bird. But as you can see, I have leading lines everywhere here. Even with the birds, even though they look messy. There.
I actually shot this a few different times when they were moving to get the right composition. I wanted this bird up here, and I wanted to create this movement in the image. That's why they're blurry. I shot it kind of at a slow shutter speed. slow enough to create some blur in the birds that's on purpose. I didn't want them perfectly frozen, because I wanted to create energy and movement in my image.
Now how do I invite this, the viewer into the photo, so I obviously invite him to these leading lines. Here's the shoreline, which I placed there through my viewfinder purposely. Then I saw the water line, which guides you right into the put the arrow right into the fisherman right here. And then the birds create this pattern. So if your eye starts up here, you immediately follow these birds down to the fisherman. If your eye starts here, you you bounce back and forth from the birds but you get to the fisherman.
So again, everything I did was thought about well, right before while I was taking the photo, so you have beautiful light, you have your subject and you have leading lines My three keys and my three secrets to creating this photographs. on everything I do, you must have leading lines, guys, you must, you must have a subject and you must have light, beautiful light or just any kind of light, make your word for your scene and put your feelings into it. Now let's go to my cityscapes and go over those. So here, you have a beautiful, beautiful skyline shot. This shot this in Miami, but as you can see, I use this highway as my main leading line into the main subject. So again, beautiful light, and then leading lines and your subject, right.
So let's uh, so let's walk through it. So here if your eye starts down here in the corner getting walked into the the skyline right away. If your eye starts here in this corner, it's a little dark but then it falls into this leading line. Same with this it all it's all it was I placed it like this Exactly, so your eye could fall into the Miami skyline. So I wanted people to see that it's the Miami skyline, but I wanted to create a lot of action. In cityscape photography, it's a little bit easier than landscape photography just because you have a lot more going on.
And you have a lot more to play with. So here I have all this traffic. Again, you have to wait for the traffic to come to start moving. So without the traffic moving, you're not going to get this street this light streaks. So a lot of the time you're sending up there to both directions of cars. This one's we're coming this is the headlights that are moving These are the taillights that you see read.
So in cityscapes you always have a lot more going on so composition is a little easier. So here I use the streets, the street, the streets, the streets, and also my clouds. As you can see, I place myself directly below the clouds where they were headed towards the, towards the skyline. So if I would have shot this from a different angle, the line the clouds would look completely different and completely off. Now this did take a lot of waiting I was up here for a couple hours because I wanted to get the streaks and I wanted to get the clouds moving in just right. So again, guys beautiful light.
You have your skyline as your main subject and then you have your leading lines to create a beautiful composition. Smoke to the next one. So here is a skyline shot This is I try really, really like this. So here I used this, I wanted my you know, you have beautiful light. This was after sunset, the blue hour. And I wanted my main subject to be this the city, this is Miami to be the skyline.
And now all I needed was leading lines. So that kind of presented a problem because I don't have any rocks. Or I didn't have anything interesting like right in front of me to walk you into the image. So what did I do, I use these beautiful reflections of the buildings. And you'll see this on the editing as well, how they look like before you can still see them, they're still the same. And I use that to invite the viewer into the skyline.
And as you can see this clouds are forming this way. Again, I placed myself in such a way where I could get the right movement out of the clouds. So you're always got to be thinking out there. Always look at your clouds always look at the wind direction. And again, I close this image of like putting this the corners of this palm trees there. Now, without this palm trees, the image would be a little bit boring.
And this also serve as leading lines. This also keeps the eye from just drifting away. If your eye starts to drift away, this palm trees lead it back into the skyline, which is what I wanted the viewers to see. And as you can see right there, I also got the moon. Not that I wanted it to be a focal point for the viewer because you can barely see it. But it is there so it's, it's cool when somebody finds it.
But again, I wanted the skyline and I use this beautiful reflections to walk myself into the skyline. So again, beautiful light, main subject matter and your leading lines creates a beautiful composition even when you don't have such a crazy scene. Against cityscapes are a little bit easier in the way that you have a lot more going on. In landscapes, you don't have lights, you don't have the human factor like you do in cityscapes, so cityscapes are a little bit easier to work in. Let's move on to our next one. So here is another complex scene.
This was really quite hard for me to capture because I couldn't get the right composition and I was trying to find it, and I just couldn't get it right. But I finally got it I walked I walked quite far to find this rocks and find this composition. So as you can see, this rocks create my leading lines into the the scene which is my bridge and my skyline. This is San Francisco. This is the Bay Bridge. And this was after sunset sunset wasn't really spectacular, but I still wanted to capture a cool photo, a good photo.
Kind of a tie. It's kind of a little bit mysterious in many ways, which is where I was. It was kind of creepy displays when you walk down here at night. There's kind of a cliff and it's kind of eerie been there. So I kind of wanted to put that in the photo because that's what I was feeling. So as you can see beautiful, beautiful skyline, beautiful bridge, but this invites you into it.
Without this, you would just have that bridge, it would be kind of boring. So by adding this rocks, it kind of draws the viewer and it creates interest. It creates balance for your photo, it creates a frame for it. So when you draw your eyes drop in here, beautifully, they immediately start wandering off into the city, creating a beautiful composition. Now same with this bridge. Obviously the bridge is one of our main focal points, but it's also the sky line.
So the bridge also plays a key role in the composition in the leading lines. Let me go back to the arrow. So here is the bridge of your eyes starts right here, it will guide a walk you through the horizon through the skyline. If your eye starts here, this rock will immediately point you up. Even right here in this angle, it's it's an arrow and it's in itself. So all this subtleness in this photographs, they walk you into the image.
So it is very, very important to have leading lines in your photographs. So again, you need light, you need a subject matter and you need leading lines. That's what I tell all my students in all of my workshops, and by the end of the workshop, they're usually taking really really cool photos, some usually better than me. So that's good, but so again, my three elements my three rules that I know Live by and that I shoot by. It's like a subject matter and leading lines.