How Foregrounds Improve Your Landscapes

Landscapes can be tricky to get right, but that's even more the case when you find yourself in a less than magnificent location. One of the biggest issues with flat and uninspiring vistas is composition becomes more difficult and this is where foregrounds play an important role.

Any long-term reader of mine (there's at least one, but maybe only one) will know my relationship with landscape photography has been tumultuous. I initially wanted to take landscape images, but I live somewhere flat and rather dull, and I just couldn't get the sort of shots I wanted. I became increasingly frustrated with interesting weather not being enough to make interesting images and I realized that the issue was my lack of creative compositions. So, I set about trying to find foregrounds to add depth and interest to my images, which helped a lot.

My images were still never going to win any awards — they were uninspiring even to me and I took them. But I knew that composition really held the keys to great landscape photography. Before you master how to compose a landscape image to lead the eye and to keep the viewer viewing, it really doesn't matter if you're standing in a flat field or on a cliff in the Faroe Islands, your image won't be great.

In this video, Nigel Danson talks boring landscapes and how foregrounds can improve your shots.

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Robert Nurse's picture

It's sort of a comfort to see that these struggles aren't uniquely mine. Going out and being excited about shots only to come home to Lightroom and be blahed. But, just going out is worth it.

Peter Jones's picture

Hi Robert Baggs. I always enjoy your posts. Why? Because you have a slant on life that I can relate to. And you have a northern accent!
I am prompted to comment because, to my eyes, you are trying to force a landscape image into a vertical format, which makes your images rather artificial-looking. Perhaps a horizontal flip would assist in reading the full picture? All the best, Peter.