Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

Prairie Sunrise

Prairie Sunrise
Prairie Sunrise

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Foreground: Establishing A Sense of Place

Landscape photography is all about creating a sense of place, a connection to home, to now. Oddly enough I bet I have hundreds of landscape shots whose images stretch to the far off horizon. More often than not, that is about all you see in those images...the horizon, which in and of itself does little to register a sense of place. What really creates a great landscape photograph is one that incorporates three basic elements: A Foreground; A Middle Ground; and a Background. All three are important, but it is the foreground that establishes that sense of home, of being there.

Establishing Place begins with the foreground elements. These closeup items help the viewer to ascertain what it was like to be standing in that location when the image was taken. An effectly composed foreground ties the viewer to the scene and can provide not only important visual clues, but can jump stir other sense stimulating elements into life, such as aroma, sound, and touch.

Take the image shown above. One can almost smell the damp prairie grass, hear the prairie wind, and feel the roughness of the rocky outcropping. It draws the eye into the image where it drifts across the rolling terrain to land on the horizon. Visually, you are there seeing, hearing, and feeling the same things the photographer saw and felt at the time.

When wanting to capture an effective landscape image, always begin with light, but anchor it with a strong foreground.

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