Ian Plant • Finding Foreground

Foreground is the most important part of a landscape composition. If you want to make compelling landscape images, as Ian Plant explains, learning how to use foreground effectively is absolutely critical

When people think of landscape photography, they inevitably think first about the beautiful scenery. But, if you really want to create stunning landscape images, you should be paying more attention to your feet – or, more to the point, what is around your feet. What I am talking about here is foreground. When you use foreground, you establish a visual relationship between the bottom of the photograph and the top, which is important for leading the viewer’s eye into the composition. A good foreground anchors your photograph’s visual design, providing the viewer with a logical starting point as they explore the image and giving them a sense of 'being there,' thus enhancing their emotional connection with your composition.

Since foreground elements are the first that the viewer's eye encounters, make sure that your foreground is interesting and relevant to the rest of the composition; it must assist in creating depth and visual progression within the scene. Resist the temptation to find anything to put in the foreground just so you have something there. Instead, take the time to find a foreground that actually works toward your goal of captivating viewers and visually ...

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Ian Plant is a full time professional nature photographer, writer, and adventurer. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, books and calendars, and he is a frequent contributor to Popular Photography and Outdoor Photographer magazines, among others.

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