"Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn."

~ benjamin Franklin


He is one of the best educators I have ever worked with, regardless of discipline…I will come back in a heartbeat, to take other workshops at the gallery that Mr Banks is conducting.”

~ Mr R Fosler, Massachusetts, USA


"I just wanted to thank you once again for the Robin Hood’s Bay course last week. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but more than that I left with a far greater confidence in my compositional abilities, and a decent basic knowledge of Lightroom. The location, accommodation and organisation were first rate, and your maxim of always considering the composition and only later considering whether you could pull it off resounded."

~ Mr N Farrimond, UK

Welcome to the first of my four part tutorials on the practicalities of landscape photography. I hope you enjoy reading them and hope they help you with your own journey into the wonderful world of landscape photography. Although these are my own views, they are based on running countless photography workshops over the last ten years or so, taking into account the many questions I get asked again and again.

If you think you could benefit from some practical tuition then consider joining me on one of my group workshops or why not treat yourself to a personalised one-to-one session instead? Details of all my current workshops can be found under the 'Tuition' tab at the top of the page.

The points below are all the things I try to remember when travelling to a location. The list isn’t exhaustive and it’s very likely I will add to it in the future. I simply think (and even to talk to myself) about all the possibilities listed in points 3,4 & 5 below. This way, when I reach my destination all these thoughts are already running around in my head.

Landscape Photography Tutorials by Mark Banks - VISION

  1. Rules
    There’s only one rule in landscape photography: There are no rules!
  2. Finding the image
  • Balance - This is key to a successful image. Be sure that all components within an image is accounted for and work as a whole.
  • Your Vision - an image should be of your vision, a composition you like, not one you’re composing to please someone else.
  • Remember, it’s not what’s in your image necessarily, it’s what you leave out. The most simple compositions can be the most profound.

Welcome to the 2nd part of my Practical Photography tutorials - Composition.

Composition is and should be subjective to you the individual. Although a workshop leader can advise about composition and the technicalities that surround it, it is important that your own individual style is nurtured so that you ultimately make images that please you and not necessarily others. Therefore, this section doesn’t (nor shouldn’t) explain how to compose an image but gives advice on how best to nurture your own vision in order to create a successful composition.

Landscape Photography Tutorials by Mark Banks - Composition

Focus your mind

It is very easy to get excited about arriving at a destination and simply wanting to get your camera out and start shooting, particularly so if you’re out with a group of friends or on a photography workshop. Giving yourself a little extra time will help you with all aspects of your landscape photography (see further details about 'Time - or lack of it' in the 4th part of these tutorials). Landscape photography is probably the only photographic genre where slowing down can help with composition.

Right v Left!

Welcome to the 3rd part of my Practical Photography tutorials - Right v Left.

Landscape Photography Tutorials by Mark Banks - Right v Left!

Experiments have shown that the two different sides of your brain are responsible for the different ways you think. Most people tend to have a distinct preference of one over the other. Some, however, are equally adept at both. Therefore, for the majority of you reading this it’s likely you favour the right or left part of your brain but not both equally. I believe it is important to understand which camp you are in as I have witnessed first hand workshop participants who find themselves frustrated by not seeing a composition as easy as a fellow photographer in the same location (a ‘left brained’ thinker ) or a photographer who forgot a crucial technical step whilst setting up their camera (a ‘right brained’ thinker). 

Welcome to the 4th part of my Practical Photography tutorials - Time (or Lack of it).

Landscape Photography Tutorials by Mark Banks

Time (or lack of it)

For most people, landscape photography is a hobby, a way to relax and get away from the usual hussle and bustle of daily life and stress. We would all like to do more photography but time always seems to be our enemy. Yet if you give yourself extra time it is likely you will notice an improvement in your compositional skills.

Allow more time

Allowing a little more time to reach your chosen location can pay dividends. From bitter experience, rushing there leads to a poorly thought out composition or a forgotten technical step when making the image. For the exact reasons mentioned in the ‘Composition’ section, rushing to a location will not help you connect with the landscape and to ‘tune in’ to your environment first.

Learn more

If you've enjoyed reading Mark's tutorials and would like to learn more why not consider a one day practical or post-production workshop on a one-to-one basis with Mark. Alternatively, Mark runs several group workshops every year in some of the most beautiful places in the UK. Take a look on the 'Tuition' page for a full list of workshops currently available or contact Mark by e-mail - for available dates.