How to Improve The Composition of Your Landscape Photos Using Foreground Interest

One thing to try and remember when you are setting up your scene through your view finder, or on the live view screen, is to include something in the foreground.  It doesn’t have to be a massive object, or even relevant to the scene, but just by adding some foreground interest can really make a scene.

Adding Foreground Interest: Here I’ve used the lines in the sand from the outgoing tide. They lead you into the main scene.

In this next example, I’ve included a couple of boulders.  You can see the old pier and the sunset are my main subjects, but without the boulders in the foreground, breaking up the incoming wave, then the photo would be bland in the foreground.

The Old Pier & Sunset – Nikon D90 | ISO 200 | 3 auto-bracketed HDR

In my next two examples, you can see a little foreground interest over on the right hand side from the grass clumps.  In the second example, just by stepping back a little (or zooming out), I’ve been able to include the old fence post too.

How to Improve the Composition of a Landscape Photo using Foreground Interest

Nikon D90 | f16 | ISO 200 | 3 shot auto bracketed HDR

How to Improve the Composition of a Landscape Photo using Foreground Interest

Nikon D90 | f16| ISO 200 | 3 auto bracketed HDR

Ok for the above examples, I did crop the image in the first one, mainly to give you an idea of what I am talking about.  However, what do you do when there IS NO foreground interest to be had?

Erm…. Cheat! LOL.

Ok, technically, and this is way I see it is that if I take take two photographs on the same day, at the same location, and merge them together in Photoshop later, its not actaully cheating!  Take a look at the next three photographs.  You can see they are definitely from the same location, just taken at different angles.  What I have done is found some rocks from the other side of the old barn, photographed them, and with the rocks mentally in my mind, I recomposed for my main front view of the old barn.

Back at the computer, using a Layer Mask, I was able to blend the two images together resulting in a far better composed image.

How to Improve the Composition of Landscape Photos using Foreground Interest

Nikon D90 | Image #1 The Old Barn with a very bland foreground

How to Improve the Composition of Landscape Photos using Foreground Interest

Nikon D90 | Photo #2 The Rocks From Opposite Side of the Barn

How to Improve the Composition of Landscape Photos using Foreground Interest

Nikon D90: Final Image with the Rocks and the Barn Combined in Photoshop

You can see that by adding the rocks the foreground, it has made the original photograph a lot more appealing.

When you combine this technique, and the Rule of Thirds technique things really do come together.  My final example was taken using both techniques, and was taken on my iPhone.

The wooden pier is “leading you” into the photograph, the hills on the distance are on the upper thirds, taken your eye across to the right and finally back to the boats.  Just practice these two techniques and before you know it you will be doing them both together without even thinking about it.

How to Improve the Composition of Landscape Photos using Foreground Interest

iPhone 4s | Snapseed app – using Lead In Lines draws your view into your photograph

I really do hope some of you find these little blogs of some help.  If so, let others know.  If not, then let me know 🙂

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One thought on “How to Improve The Composition of Your Landscape Photos Using Foreground Interest

  1. Pingback: How to Improve The Composition of Your Landscape Photos Using Foreground Interest « Mark White Photography

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