Like many people, my wife and I enjoy self-drive vacations and photography tours. Avoiding cities whenever possible, we like to explore the countryside. This article discusses incorporating roads into landscape photography. All of the images featured in this article were captured on the same day as we toured the Ring of Beara in Ireland.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
When doing a self-drive tour we always take time to stop at lookout areas. We always enjoy the panoramic views. The shape of these paved areas can be incorporated into a composition to help focus a viewer’s eye into the distance. These types of compositions can also create a feeling of scale and distance.
We never leave a lookout area without looking in both directions as the road may have a very different appearance. In the photograph above you can see how a guardrail serves as a nice centre line as various elements converge in the composition.
Incorporating roads into our compositions can also bring some additional context to a photograph. It is one thing to explain to friends and associates how tight buildings were to a road, and quite another to be able to show them a photograph.
Incorporating roads can help create a feeling of anticipation in an image. It can also provide important details about the self-drive journey and preserve memories of the driving experience.
Events can happen that you may want to capture as they confirm important aspects of your journey… such as the rural nature of the area.
As regular readers will know, my wife and I enjoy exploring ‘off the beaten path’. This often takes our travels onto very small, narrow roads. While driving in some parts of Ireland it was sometimes a bit of a challenge to differentiate between roads and the laneways of homes and farms.
Incorporating roads, especially when they form a ‘magic 7’ can add to the overall flow and balance of a composition.
They can also serve as a very strong and dramatic leading line in an image.
You may want to create a layered look to your photographic composition. In these situations incorporating roads can provide a monochromatic element to accentuate the layered effect.
Sometimes our self-drive journeys will take us to wild and remote areas. The road that we find ourselves on may become the main focus of our photograph.
Incorporating roads into our travel photography can also help to bring depth to an image as well as context.
When my wife and I find ourselves on roads that have grass growing in the middle of them, we appreciate the remote and rural nature of our explorations.
Encountering free roaming livestock calls for some additional care and caution… and adds to the rural feeling!
The next time you’re on a driving holiday or photography tour, you may find that incorporating roads into some of your images may spark your creativity.
If you enjoyed the photographs in this article that were captured with the Nikon 1 system, you may find our eBook, The Little Camera That Could, of interest. This eBook is available for purchase and download. It is priced at $9.99 Canadian. Readers interested in purchasing a copy can use the link below.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.
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