1. Leave your wide angle lens in your bag.
These days wide angle lenses have become one of the most used lenses for landscape
photographers. I love my wide angle lens, but when it comes to taking intimate landscape photos this is not the lens to use. Intimate landscapes tends to be calm in composition and a wide angel lens brings drama into the calm which will get the image to go off in two directions instead of one. Use lenses from 35-80 mm instead. My most used lenses for intimate landscapes are my 45mm and my 85mm tilt shift lens. They give me a pleasant look to the images and they are sharp as my intimate landscapes tends to be all about the details.
2. Skip the horizon
My definition of an intimate landscape image is one that lacks the horizon. I usually look more down than up when I search for motifs. By skipping the horizon you get some abstraction in to the image as it is harder to understand the size of the subject without it. I usually don’t include any sky at all in my intimate landscape images.
3. Shoot in soft light
This is probably the most important advise. The big and dramatic light you want iin your landscape picture doesn’t do much for an intimate landscape image. The perfect day to take intimate landscape images is on a cloudy day or in the shade. I like those days when the light does not change at all because those days you can fully focus on finding interesting compositions instead of worrying about chasing the light or feeling stressed about missing the sunrise or sunset.
4. Check the corners
Intimate landscape images are all about the details. Since we don’t have anything big and bold to draw the viewer’s eye to we need to be careful about every little detail. Pay extra attention to corners of the image. If you manage to get the corners calm and clean there is a good chance that the rest of the image is calm as well. Try to use a tripod and be really careful about your position in relation to the motif. Take the time you need. If you work on a cloudy day you have all day and there is no need to stress.
5. See lines, shapes and colors
Intimate images are all about lines, shapes and colors. The purpose should not be to take images of trees, rocks and leaves. Try to use those to find patterns instead. Look for compositions that remind you of graphic illustrations and patterns. This will make your compositions better and make your images more exciting to the viewer.