A Place To Start.
In landscape photography, forgetting to include a prominent foreground element can often make or break a photo.
No matter how beautiful the scene in the distance is, if your foreground(or lack thereof) falls flat or lacks interest, often so to will the photograph.
I look at the foreground as a place for viewers to start their visual journey into an image. Something eye catching that makes them want to look further, keeping them engaged longer. The image above of Nubble Lighthouse in Maine illustrates how I used the rocks and crashing waves in the foreground to give the viewers a place to start on their way to the lighthouse and rising sun in the distance.
Choosing a Foreground.
When I first started out in photography I had read on numerous occasions about including a foreground element in the composition.
Initially I thought this meant there had to be something spectacular, rivaling even the main subject or scene in it’s awesomeness, an object that visually slaps you in the face and screams “Hey, look at me!” like the dock in this next image.
In reality almost anything, even the most simple and unassuming can work well as your foreground.
In the image above captured along the Maine seacoast there’s really nothing overly special about the rock in the lower left, or the backlit splash of water towards the lower right. Yet both work well as a place to start as you view the photo.
From Mundane To Magnificent.
One way to make the mundane magnificent is by using a wide angle lens set close to your foreground. By using a wide angle lens, and setting up my camera and tripod low on the ice, even a simple leaf frozen just below the surface of the ice makes a wonderful foreground for this photo I shot on my way home from work last night.
The next time you’re out photographing, no matter how spectacular and awe inspiring the overall scene before you is, try to spice it up and give your viewers a place to start by including a great foreground element.