Look at this shot of the Valley of Fire, Nevada – and watch closely: click until you see it full size.
Taken with the 1Dx using a 70-200mm lens at 1/80th sec, f/6.3, 1000 ISO.
What I see there is more than just some rocks.
I see vastness, even though I am using the long lens. Usually, I would prefer wide, but in this landscape, long is good: compressing the vastness makes this look as huge as it is.
And as a result, I also see layers: foreground, middle ground, and background. Often a recipe for a good composition.
I see curves, elegance in a composition.
I see detail: sharpness, a good lens stopped down, is essential here; and if you are using a slow shutter speed, then a tripod is a must.
I see balance – the crop was needed both to increase the sense of size (horizontal lines emphasize size and quiescence and vastness) – and to balance the composition.
And finally, I see spectacular colour, even though this was taken just after sunset. The blue background is essential here, to offset the reds and greens. The pink sky matches the pink rocks, which contrast against the green vegetation.
And putting all that together, I see a good landscape photo that does justice to a spectacular Nevada view. What do you think?