There is a beauty in the untouched landscape and many photographers try to avoid including buildings in an attempt to suggest wilderness and isolation. However, human influence on the landscape is extensive and buildings can add a lot to a scene. So, for this assignment you should actively look to include buildings in your landscape photographs.
Buildings can offer a sense of scale for background mountains. They can provide a focal point, which catches the viewer’s attention and gives the eye somewhere to rest, creating a sense of completion. They can give a sense of place. The human element can also add a hint of storytelling to your image-for example, a lone building in apparent wilderness suggests isolation. Different types of building tell different stories: a ruined building, overgrown with foliage, shows nature reclaiming the landscape, whereas a modern building in the countryside indicates humans trying to impose themselves on nature.
When working on this assignment, look for buildings that suggest different narratives, and for buildings that sit comfortably in their surroundings, as well as those that jar in some way with their environment.
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- Side-lighting will help to give depth and volume to buildings.
- All landscapes look good when shot in the golden hour, but buildings really come to life when shot in warm, golden light.
- Make use of lead-in lines to draw the viewer’s attention from the foreground to the building.
- Shooting from a high viewpoint can help to show the building in its setting.
- It can be worth waiting until dusk to see if any lights come on in the building; the contrast between the warm light within and the cool ambient light can be very photogenic.