We’ve talked to you more than once about landscape photography, and we’ve given you some tips on getting amazing landscape photos. One of the most important and often forgotten tips is to put elements in the foreground.
Having an interesting close-up will give an added value to our photography and will give it more depth. In this article we are going to see what this resource brings to our photographs and some tips to get the most out of it.
The Plans in Photography
It may have happened to you that after taking a picture of an impressive landscape you were disappointed with the result. The photo is beautiful, yes, but it lacks something, it doesn’t reflect the immensity of that place you have before your eyes. One of the reasons why that photograph may not convince you is that there is nothing in the foreground that captures your attention, that there is no clear center of interest.
What Does Foregrounding Bring to Landscape Photography?
As I said, it is very important to have a close-up in very large landscape photographs, especially when we do not have a clear center of interest in the middle plane. It doesn’t have to be too special; just a few flowers, a rock, or even some fairly textured soil can be enough to get a nice close-up.
1. Gives Depth to the Photography
A close-up will give your landscape photography that sense of depth it lacks. Often what may not convince us of such a wide shot is that it is too flat; that immense landscape is reduced to two dimensions and loses all grace. Including an element in the foreground will give your photograph that three-dimensional feeling it lacks.
2. Direct the gaze
An element in the foreground can help in the reading of the photograph. It can direct the viewer’s gaze to the other shots in the photo. Normally, elements that draw lines are used, such as a road at a vanishing point.
Or you can frame the center of interest to direct the gaze towards it. This is how the so-called natural frames act.
3. Introduces you to photography
With an element in the foreground that “invites you to enter” the photograph you will get that feeling of getting inside it. This will help viewers feel more connected to the landscape because they will feel like they are right there.
4. Catches the attention
The elements in the foreground are full of detail, especially if they have a marked texture. That’s why they will be very useful to capture the viewer’s attention as soon as they look at the photograph. This will make our photography stand out from the rest of the photographs that can be seen of that same landscape.
5. Enhancing the Immensity of the Landscape
With a close-up view you will get the immensity of the landscape reflected much better, because you add a reference with which to compare the rest of the landscape. If the landscape is particularly immense, another resource is to place this element in the middle plane, so that the difference in size is even greater.
6. Adds Meaning
Sometimes the close-up will not only be a “decorative” or eye-directing element, but it can also add extra value to the photograph, a different meaning than it would have without it.
Tips to Get an Interesting Close-Up on Landscape Photography
- Play with Depth of Field
Depth of field is the part of a photograph that we can appreciate as being in focus or sharp. If you can’t remember how to vary it, these examples will surely help you refresh your memory. Depth of field is a very useful compositional resource, and we can also exploit it in landscape photography precisely by applying it to the foreground.
- Focus on the Hyperfocal
If you decide to use a large depth of field to gain as much detail as possible in the foreground element, it is best to focus on the hyperfocal distance. The hyperfocal distance is the minimum focus distance at which we achieve a greater depth of field, obtaining a focus that extends from half this distance, to infinity.
If you can’t find anything that will work for you in the foreground, maybe all you have to do is duck. Changing the perspective will allow you to bring the nearest floor into the frame. Being so close to the target will allow you to capture its texture very well, so soils like rocks or sand can look very attractive.
- Search the Lines
The lines that run through various planes of photography are usually a very powerful compositional resource. Taking advantage of the reading of the lines you can make the viewer enter into the photograph, which runs through it following those lines.
- Dare to use the Vertical Format
Yes, a landscape photograph may not be the most common, but this format can give you that touch of interest that your horizontal shot lacked. Why? Because we’ll be able to give the foreground a more prominent role.