Visual Flow:

Mastering the Art of Composition

Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” —Edgar Degas

What makes a great photograph? Is there any one aspect of the process which separates the merely good from the truly magnificent?

Many candidates immediately spring to mind, such as subject matter, light, mood, and moment. But one aspect rises above the rest, and it is the thread which ties all of these other qualities together. Composition—the artistic arrangement and placement of visual elements within the picture frame—is the most difficult aspect of the art of photography to master, and also the most important.

The emotion evoked by a photograph’s subject matter and mood cannot be underestimated—but the primal visual response evoked by a skillful composition cannot be ignored or forgotten. A snapshot shows the world what your camera sees, but when you create a composition, you show the world what you see.



Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition is an artistic tour de force, spanning several centuries and different artistic media in its quest to reveal the composition secrets of the great masters. The book focuses on nature photography composition—but the techniques discussed apply to other types of photography, and more broadly to all two-dimensional visual art. Artists of all types will find this book invaluable.

Also included is an anniversary release, The Visual Flow Companion, Volume 1, which contains:

  • Explanation of the compositions of nineteen of Ian’s recent favorite images

  • Compositional analysis of images by fellow Dreamscapes bloggers George Stocking, Kurt Budlinger, and Richard Bernabe

  • In-depth discussion of masterpieces by Rembrandt and Singer-Sargent

Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition

Samples from the Book

Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition

What’s Included

The 288 page-long Visual Flow includes:

  • Six chapters discussing shapes, depth, perspective, and many other composition essentials
  • Analysis of composition masterpieces by the great painting masters including Rembrandt and Vermeer
  • In-depth discussion of dozens of styles of composition which will allow you to make compelling and powerful photographs
  • Useful “Top Lessons” recaps for each of the six chapters
  • Analysis of hundreds of amazing photographs taken by Ian Plant and George Stocking over their decades as landscape photographers

What People Are Saying

“Visual Flow is one of the most comprehensive e-books I’ve ever read on the topic of composition. In fact, I would say this book might completely revitalize your photography. That’s how good it is. If you’re stuck in a creative rut and you need something to really supercharge your creative juices, then read on.”


“This is an outstanding, expertly written book on the subject of composition. One of Ian’s key points that should resonate with every photographer is that good compositions don’t come from the rules, but rather that the rules come from good compositions. So instead of giving you specific formulas of image making, Ian presents the ideas of composition as a series of concepts: ways to think abstractly about space, patterns, depth, and light. Approaching photography in this way will have you creating photos that might not follow the rules, but which do show off great compositions!

A word of warning: don’t try to read this book from cover to cover. There are simply too many great concepts and ideas to digest at once. Instead, we recommend approaching the book one concept at a time: read about it, understand it, then go out and practice just that one idea. Then go on to the next. You’ll build a robust toolbox of tools this way.”

Sea to Summit Workshops

“Ian Plant has done the best job I have seen in explaining the secrets of good composition.”

Landscape Photography Magazine

About the Author

Ian Plant is a frequent contributor to and blogger for Outdoor Photographer Magazine, a Contributing Editor toPopular Photography Magazine, and a monthly columnist for Landscape Photography Magazine. Ian’s work also appears in many other books, calendars, ad campaigns, and magazines available worldwide. For more on Ian and his work, explore his site and join his mailing list.

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