11 Composition Lessons For Photographing Nature’s Small Scenes
11 Composition Lessons For Photographing Nature’s Small Scenes

11 Composition Lessons For Photographing Nature’s Small Scenes


Professional photographer Sarah Marino shares essential concepts for crafting creative, cohesive photographs of nature’s small scenes.

For most photographers, building composition skills is a years-long endeavor that includes a lot of time in the field focused on experimentation, with some successes and many failures along the way. While putting in this time is an essential part of the creative process, we designed this ebook, the field guide, and the video case studies to help you accelerate your learning by focusing on essential concepts. Rather than repeating rigid rules and simplistic basics, this ebook focuses on teaching composition and design concepts - tools for your toolbox that you can apply in a wide variety of scenarios to a broad range of subjects. Additionally, 11 Composition Lessons takes an accessible approach with a focus on practical advice that you can immediately use to improve your photographs.

While the 11 composition concepts are relevant to all forms of nature photography, the ebook and video case studies focus on the lessons most relevant to photographing intimate landscapes, creative portraits of plants, and abstract renditions of natural subjects.

11 Composition Lessons includes:

  • 131-page PDF ebook featuring more than 160 photos to help bring the composition concepts to life and 10 exercises to help you practice your composition skills out in nature. Photo examples include successes, failures, and alternative views to deepen your learning.
  • A PDF Field Guide that you can download to your smartphone to use as a quick reference while in nature. The field guide includes summaries of the most important information from the ebook, including exercises you can practice to improve your observation and composition skills (21 pages).
  • Six Video Case Studies to reinforce the ideas from the ebook and give you ideas for how you can assess your compositions, both in the field and when you get home (70 minutes).

Select reviews of 11 Composition Lessons:

“Sarah’s most recent book on the “11 Composition Lessons for Photographing Nature’s Small Scenes” is an information-packed visual and intellectual journey behind the scenes of some of the most striking small scenes images in landscape photography today. Not to be outdone by her written word, her video case studies are excellent highlighting subtle differences in images and what she could have done to photograph the scene differently. I found so much value in this book and will put it at the top of the list of recommendations to my clients who want to refine or restructure the way they interact with the landscape.” — Nic Stover

“Sarah’s ebook, “11 Composition Lessons for Photographing Nature’s Small Scenes,” contains more information and a higher level of detail than in any other resource of its kind. It was extremely insightful how Sarah walks you through her process and approach from the moment she arrives in the field all the way through post processing. I found the lessons enlightening and conveyed in a format which was easy to comprehend. This ebook has provided me with a whole new thought process that I can apply when I arrive in the field.” — Chris Sturm

“I have admired Sarah’s beautiful imagery ever since I got into photography. She has a very thoughtful, deliberate approach which reflects in all of her artwork, and her new Ebook, 11 Composition Lessons, is no exception. Sarah walks us through her refined thought process in a detailed and easily comprehensible manner that instantly strikes inspiration for things we can try next time we are in the field. I have always known Sarah to be a great teacher with a wealth of information to share, and this ebook is another demonstration of her years of experience and wisdom clearly explained and well-presented.” — Eric Bennett

“Sarah Marino’s “11 Composition Lessons for Photographing Nature’s Small Scenes” is a fantastic resource for new and experienced photographers alike. She uses her expertise in photographing small scenes to distill a complex topic into clear, logical concepts, each supported by dozens of example images. Several real case studies are also provided to cohesively tie everything together. I can’t recommend this ebook enough!” — Nick Becker

“In “11 Composition Lessons,” Sarah Marino delves deeply into the mindset, theory, and observational skills photographers need to create intentional and impactful compositions. Though the lessons focus on photographing small natural scenes, they can be applied to any visual art. The ebook and videos provide countless examples of both beautiful, successful images and relatable, unsuccessful images that further strengthen the comprehensive and insightful lessons. She writes in such a clear and pragmatic way that I was even able to take great pictures in my own backyard while reading it, and I am excited to apply these lessons out in the field!” — Brent Clark

About the Author:

Sarah Marino is a full-time photographer, photography educator, and writer based in rural southwestern Colorado. She enjoys photographing natural landscapes of all kinds, from forests and mountains to oceans and deserts, from small scenes to grand landscapes, and from bold dramatic light to soft diffused light. Sarah has authored several highly regarded photography eBooks and video tutorials for nature photographers.

Watch our interview with Sarah below!