How to Improve the Emotional Expression of Scenery Photography

Landscape photographyAs an art form, it is not a mechanical record of the landscape, nor an objective restoration of the scene, but a unique way of dialogue between man and nature. It uses an artistic perspective to explain his own perception of nature. Technology is only the basis of photography. Only by shooting works with artistic appeal can we stimulate the emotions and imagination of viewers.

The form of photography is to express thoughts and feelings with plane images, just like a writer tells a story with words, a painter uses a brush to describe the color of life, and a photographer uses a camera to capture every bit of beauty in life and express feelings in his heart through artistic creation. Any kind of art form, when mastering the technology, and then go to the depth level, is the subjective expression of people. Photographic works are full of spirituality only when they bear the spirit and emotion of human beings.

It is difficult for landscape photography works to directly convey a certain emotion like humanities and portrait themes, but when you carefully taste it, you will feel the hidden emotion. In fact, the most memorable thing is not the strong emotion, but the vague meaning. Compared with the powerful scenery works of men, female photographers sometimes express more tenderness and warmth, and can more subtly integrate their emotions into the creation. As the only female photographer of Jiying, this article will share my personal understanding of the emotional expression of landscape photography with you.

This is a conceptual article. There is no specific pre and post technology, but some examples will be used to explain the idea of pre filming and post processing. If you can read it patiently, I believe that these experiences will improve your thinking and open a door for your landscape creation. This article will elaborate how to improve the emotional expression of scenery photography works from the following five aspects

1、 Emotional expression of color

Color is one of the most expressive elements in visual art, which can convey many information that other visual elements cannot convey. Psychologists believe that the first feeling of a person is vision, and the biggest influence on it is color. Color is the first feeling to enter the vision, which can produce a very powerful effect.

Color has an important impact on psychological activities, especially has a very close relationship with emotion. It can not only make people excited, but also quiet, and can bring people joy or quiet mood. The reason why color can affect the mental state and mood is that color comes from the color of nature, blue sea, golden sun, green field, etc. When you see these colors, you will associate feelings and experiences related to these natural scenes, which is the most primitive influence.

According to the influence of color on psychology, color is divided into warm color, cold color and neutral color. The cold and warm feeling of color is formed by association in people’s long-term life practice. Red, orange and yellow often remind people of the sun and fire, and have a warm and enthusiastic feeling, so they are called “warm colors”; Blue and blue will remind people of blue sky, sea, ice and snow, giving people a cold and elegant feeling, so they are called “cold color”.

The color has infinite tension, which helps to express the content and deepen the theme. It can establish the emotional framework of the picture at the beginning, Many works that can attract attention are “color first” “Charming. In the use of color, some painting masters and film directors have shown ingenuity. Van Gogh’s color is full of strong personal feelings and psychological factors, and he used fanatical color language to describe a painful and anxious soul; while Gauguin’s color is rough, showing his love for the primitive and simple beauty of Tahiti Island. In film art, color is also one of the important creative means, and the use of color is the most important in visual language Affective and emotional effects endow the film with deep meaning, and lead the audience into the plot with the symbolic meaning of color.

The concrete analysis of the connotation of color is helpful to the expression of color in photographic works. Red has the longest visible wavelength and is a warm, impulsive and powerful color, which is very easy to attract attention. Orange is the warmest color in the warm color system, which brings people a happy and warm feeling and reminds people of golden autumn and rich fruits. Orange and light yellow will have a harmonious transition. The brightness of yellow is very high, symbolizing brilliance and brilliance. Like red, it belongs to eye-catching color. Green is a fresh, peaceful and vibrant color, symbolizing life and hope. Blue is the coldest color, showing purity, clearness, composure and serenity.

2、 Example Analysis of Color Application

Color can arouse all kinds of emotions to express people’s psychology and emotions, which makes color go beyond the simple material category and enrich the perceptual image. Compared with men, girls have known how to dress themselves since childhood and like beautiful clothes and headwear. Congenital physiological differences determine that women are more sensitive to color and have a higher pursuit of beauty from childhood. The color processing technique of photography is just like the matching of clothes. To achieve harmony and non conflict, first let people look comfortable, and then pursue bright spots. The combination of red and green always gives people a sense of vulgarity, and so do photos. Therefore, female friends can apply their own color matching methods to the color processing of photos, and you will feel that those profound and complex color theories become living.

Rock Island (ISO100, F16, 60 seconds)? Before the shooting, I have visited the scene several times to find the tide level and plane position that are most suitable for shooting. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the scene on the day of shooting, the promising plane had already been occupied, so we had to find another interesting point and found that the reef forms were combined in different places. I use one minute shutter speed to turn the turbulent waves into misty smoke, and scattered reefs are distributed among them. In terms of color, due to the overcast morning, the sky and sea are all covered in a gloomy dark blue color. Blue is a color with calm and cool temperament. In order to purify the color, the mottled yellow on the reef was intentionally removed in the later stage, so that the picture became a unified blue tone, presenting a deep and mysterious aura.

Summer Lotus (ISO400, F4, 1/250 seconds) breaks away from the traditional shooting methods, and uses the virtual reality to alternately express the hazy beauty. Many people think this photo is a secondary exposure, but it is actually a primary imaging. The breeze is blowing gently on the willow leaves near the lotus pond. I use the telephoto lens to draw the picture closer. The willow leaves are in front of me, and the lotus and lotus leaves are behind me. I use the big aperture to leave the shape of the willow leaves behind. When you press the shutter at the moment when the willow leaves are gently fluttering in the breeze, this decisive moment should be mastered properly. The main color is green, which represents the freshness of summer. The matching of dark green and light green can bring a sense of harmony and peace.

Scenes with the same color system are still rare. In many cases, adjacent colors (or similar colors) can be used. Adjacent colors in the color ring, such as orange, green, cyan, or blue violet, are adjacent colors. There are many such color combinations in nature, which can bring people a harmonious and pleasant visual experience.

“Fairyland” (ISO200, F16, 1/25 second) was shot in the morning with fog, and paulownia trees looked like fairyland. This is the first time that I have seen the beautiful paulownia flowers. The day will break, and the mist will be dark. A piece of paulownia flowers will quietly bloom in the depths of this dense forest, and everything will recover. Purple is the shortest wavelength of visible light, and it is an unconscious color. It is beautiful, mysterious and impressive. Purple, because of its strong feminization, will bring a soft and charming temperament. In order to focus on the part of the forest and the shape of the flowers, I changed to use a 70-200mm lens. The compression of the telephoto is more conducive to showing the level of the tree trunk. The artistic conception of seeing flowers in fog brings out a strong sense of painting. Scattered lavender is interspersed in the blue dense forest, and the picture combines elegance and charm. This photo is one of my representative works. It has become one of the most popular photos because of its typical feminine photography language.

Contrast color and complementary color are more visual impact and interesting. It is helpful to express the connotation of the picture. Pay attention to avoid averaging the two colors, and control the color saturation and area size.

In Autumn (ISO1000, F8, 1/50 second), contrast colors are used to make the finishing point, and cold colors are inserted into a large area of warm colors to enhance the appeal of photos. The walls decorated with red leaves are full of autumn colors. The windows reflect the color of the blue sky due to the reflection of the glass. The appearance of this small window breaks the overall tone, adds a touch of life, and also makes people imagine the time and stories in the windows. Although it only occupies a small area, it is located in the upper right corner of the most eye-catching Jiugong grid, balancing the slightly empty wall on the right.

3、 The art of rendering – creating atmosphere

The atmosphere is created by early shooting and post rendering. According to the light conditions on the scene, different artistic conceptions can be displayed, such as beauty and fantasy, mystery and depth, mystery and magic, brilliance and tranquility. Scenery works use light, shadow and color to set off the atmosphere and express emotions. The harmony between color and artistic conception will lead the audience into the scene and resonate through imagination.

Hue refers to the general tendency of colors in photos. We often see scenes of different colors being shrouded in the afterglow of the sun or in the pale blue moonlight. The phenomenon that objects of different colors are covered with a certain color, so that objects of different colors have the same color tendency is called hue. Tone is the overall effect of the color composition of the screen, and sometimes it is formed after deliberate modification and adjustment in the process of later revision, so it is subjective.

Tone is the essence of color, and proper handling will promote your work to a higher level. If you want to obtain the overall color of the screen, you must establish a harmonious and unified color relationship. First of all, we should follow the principle of primary and secondary. The color that forms the overall tone of the screen is the main color. It may be the color with the largest area, or the color with the highest purity or lightness and most eye-catching. The background color and embellishment color are secondary colors. They do not play a decisive role in the overall tone, but they can enrich the picture. There are primary and secondary colors. Only a reasonable combination of lightness and purity can produce a unified and bright effect. The primary and secondary colors should coordinate with each other, and the beauty of harmony is the basic principle to build the picture atmosphere.

The Devil’s World (ISO50, F16, 30 seconds) uses the contrast between the main color and the embellishment color to obtain a strong visual effect. Under the sky with dark clouds, the color of the sea has lost its former blue, the unmelted snow covers the color of the island, and only the red hut stands on the rocks. Standing in the Lofoten Islands, thousands of miles away from home, the scene in front of you is so magical. In order to convey this sense of reality and illusion, in the later stage, the saturation of blue was reduced to gray blue, while the purity of red was improved, making the small area of red very noticeable in the large area of gray blue. This harmonious combination of color and light bass forms a powerful aura on the screen.

“Mountain Soul” (ISO400, F16, 1/250 seconds) was shot in Heishi City, Sichuan Province. It is not a city but a stone mountain. It is named after Mani Piles, which are filled with cold and mysterious black sutras. It is full of supernatural religious atmosphere. Due to poor road conditions, it is possible to avoid visitors and photography groups. In the post-processing, it is converted into a single tone, and the cold color black blue is added to express the desolate atmosphere of the solemn.

The following two photos with the same theme are mainly about the trestle bridge by the lake. One is the rosy clouds in the sky at sunrise, just like a grand symphony; The other is that after sunset, the sky is light blue, as if time is frozen in this moment. The contrast between the majestic mountains and the calm lake in the distance renders a moment of peace before rain and wind. Nature is so mysterious that it has its beauty at all times.

There was a small episode when shooting the sunrise trestle. The trestle was located in a factory area. During the day, I went to explore the way specially. After careful inspection, all the places I passed could be unblocked. When I arrived in the morning, I found that the path closest to the lake was locked by the gate, and there was barbed wire on it. Not willing to give up like this, I groped along the grass on both sides and found a small hole to climb through. I was very happy. I wonder if it was God’s reward for me to persevere. That morning, I met the most gorgeous sunrise I have seen in recent years. When they left after shooting, the workers on the morning shift were opening the door. Their confused expressions revealed their suspicions. Fortunately, the tripod and camera showed my identity, and they were not caught as thieves. Maybe they saw that women’s vigilance was lowered. I pretended to be calm and walked out, smiled and said good morning to them. In their suspicious and confused eyes, I jumped into the car and fled.

4、 Integrate humanistic feelings

The integration of humanistic themes into landscape photography works can reflect regional characteristics, religious beliefs, local customs and other characteristics, and make the picture plot more rich. It is reminiscent of stories that have occurred in this land, and has a familiar resonance. Works with thoughts and souls are more moving.

The definition of humanity is explained in Cihai as follows: “Humanity refers to various cultural phenomena in human society”. Culture is the symbol, values and norms shared by human beings or a nation. Broadly speaking, humanism refers to culture; In a narrow sense, it refers specifically to philosophy, especially the category of aesthetics.

Here are two photos I took during my trip to the west of Sichuan in May 2017. The first one was taken at Zimei Pass. The weather in the mountains is extremely unstable. It was clear an hour ago, but it will be snowy an hour later. The Gongga mountains are hidden in clouds and fog after sunrise and sunset for several days. At the sunrise of the third day, the king of Shushan still refused to show up. Looking at Zimei Pass, the clouds were filled and the mountain was empty. Since we can’t see the true face of the main peak, we should change our shooting idea, take the thousands of peaks in the distance as the background, place Mani Stone Pile as the main body in the middle of the picture, inject humanistic connotation into the picture, and silently tell the story of the mountain peak. Grasping the elements in the landscape that can bring extended meaning, enriching the meaning of the picture, so that the theme of the scenery works can be sublimated.

Watch (ISO400, F16, 1/40 second)

This trip passes Tagong Grassland, and the towering snow mountains stand in the distance along the direction of Tagong Temple. Because there is only a short time to stay on the road in a hurry, I want to take a commemorative photo and see the light wind blowing the prayer flags from time to time, which makes me suddenly inspired. Why not put the prayer flags into the picture, which can not only add cultural elements to show the regional characteristics, but also build a framework to make the composition more interesting. So I pressed the shutter when the wind was blowing, and set the speed to 1/8 second to show the movement of the prayer flags in the wind. On the screen, the top of Tagong Temple was shining under the solemn snow mountain, and colorful prayer flags were flying around.

Tagong Grassland ISO50, F20, 1/8 second

5、 Picture storytelling

I am often asked some questions that are difficult for me to answer: “Teacher, should I draw or fog?”, “What proportion should the sky take?”, “Should I add or subtract light mirrors now?” These seemingly technical questions can not be answered simply with technology. How to shoot is based on what you want to shoot and what kind of mood you want to convey.

In my photos, there are quite a few that really need powerful early and late technology to complete. Even a photo involves multiple technologies such as surround exposure, depth of field synthesis, panoramic splicing, etc., and some of them need to integrate astronomical and geographical knowledge and make careful plans to seize the very small chance of shooting. However, some photos are taken according to one’s heart. They are not even taken with a camera, but only captured with a mobile phone. Such a story picture is the most touching. No matter what technology is used, the premise is what you want to express. Technology is just a means to realize ideas.

In an outside shot, I inadvertently looked in the opposite direction of the shooting, and saw a couple sitting on a bench watching the sunset, wordless, and the sun’s afterglow enveloped the couple, romantic and warm. At this time, the camera was taking a long exposure of the Harbor Bridge, and I quickly took this quiet and loving moment with my mobile phone. When I took out my mobile phone, I immediately decided on the shooting method and composition form. Facing the sunset, I shot against the light. Because the dynamic range of the mobile phone is far inferior to that of the camera, and I can only take silhouettes, so I set the light measuring point in the sky to ensure no exposure. I took the next big tree into the painting surface to make it a frame composition, which can highlight the main body more. Later, this photo was bought by the brand’s mobile phone and put on the press conference.

The photos taken by mobile phones also show that the equipment is not absolutely important, but the key is the ability to find and respond to the situation on site.

Sometimes we can also deliberately arrange characters in the picture to design the plot. It should be noted that the characters in landscape photography are not the main body, but only play the role of embellishment. Therefore, the proportion of characters in the picture should be small, and they should not dominate. This should be separated from the concept of environmental portraits.

The above picture was taken in Cook Mountain, New Zealand. I stood on the trestle near the lake and looked at the snow mountain opposite. Through the pictures of mountains and people, I expressed the human’s awe of nature. Great and small coexist.


Emotion is the soul of all art forms, and successful works of art are all moving with emotion. The same scenery will have different feelings in different people’s hearts. The light, shadow and color of each work hide the books you have read and the road you have traveled.