It’s no secret that composition is so important in landscape photography. It’s pretty difficult to get a nice looking photo without having put some thought into the structure of it. As part of a well thought out composition it’s often important for the image to have a ‘hero’ - something to base the overall photo around. A good hero, at the right time of day with a good overall composition will usually result in a nice image... but sometimes an extra element can take the image to the next level. I call this extra element a ‘side kick’.
A side kick usually consists of something temporary that can add extra wow to a photo while still staying in the context of the composition - eg a bird, the moon, a rainbow, lightning etc. All of these things on their own can be nice, but they are best used to add to an already strong composition. Some side kicks can be planned for... eg moon and lightning, but some you just have to keep your eyes open and take advantage of your surroundings.
So when planning for a photo, my tip is: find the good composition, suss out a strong hero and then see how you can work a ‘side kick’ in. If you can’t, then you still have your compositionally strong photo and if you can - you could have something real special!
I had these ruins in mind for a sunset shoot but took advantage of the rainbow when it appeared.
I knew the moon was rising at around sunset so I went into this shoot looking for a composition to suit.
After hearing that lightning was due, I headed to these big cranes hoping to fill the space with some bolts.
The textures coming through from the low tide gave this image an extra bit of wow.