Among the many roles that you, the photographer, have to take on, being the guide for your viewers is chief among them. If you present your viewers with a photo that lacks a sense of direction or flow, they will move on. Since the majority of our work these days is shared online and the time spent by viewers who are browsing is precious and fleeting, it’s our job to make sure that we do what we can with our photo compositions to engage the viewer. One way that I like to approach my photo compositions is by segmenting them into distinct zones. This gives the viewers’ eyes room to explore by providing a sense of direction, which leads to mentally engaging the viewer, which hopefully will translate into making your image more memorable to them. It takes lots of practice to learn how segmenting works for each of us and it’s a journey can be rife with frustrations but also filled with creative satisfaction.

This photo was taken several months ago at Big Spring Creek Falls in Washington using my Sony a7R and Sony FE 70-200mm telephoto lens. Despite the bright sunlight that was peaking through at the time, I was able to get a solid 1/2″ exposure thanks to the 3-stop ND filter made by Formatt Hitech and my trusty Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55 tripod provided all the stability that I needed. Stylization was done by applying a custom split-toned look that I built in Lightroom.