Degas once stated” Even in front of nature, one must compose.”


It is easy to be excited about a beautiful scene in nature.   You snap the picture and take it home to enjoy.  But you miss an opportunity to create further visual excitement with a little thought and effort.  Take time before you print the photograph or draw that photograph to “compose” it.


Look for things that you could leave out of the scene if you are drawing.  Another option is to “crop” (narrow the edges of the scene) the photograph.  When cropping a photograph notice how it changes the “center of interest”.  These techniques can be used before you use the photograph as a drawing reference picture.   When you take a photograph shoot a couple pictures of the view from slightly different angles.  At home edit the pictures with a thought for composition.  The way to do that is to notice what your eye looks at first and then where does it go?  Does it end up going off the picture, maybe a change is in order!  So on your next nature adventure whether to sketch or take photos as you hike pause, notice and think a bit!

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