If I were to ask you what the most important element of a landscape photo is, what would you say?
I’m guessing that most responses would be the subject of the shot…
And while the subject is certainly an important element, I’d argue that it’s the foreground is the key to an improved landscape photo.
The primary reason is because the foreground is like the introduction to the image – it sets the stage for the story you tell.
Working a nice foreground into the shot gives it depth and dimension, and helps viewers feel more connected to the landscape because they feel as though they’re standing right there.
So, the question is, how do you successfully use the foreground in landscape photography?
Here’s a few tips…
Manipulate the Aperture
If you’re new to photography, the aperture of your camera’s lens determines (in part, anyway) the depth of field of the shot.
That is, the smaller the f-stop you use, the shallower the depth of field and the less of the scene that will be sharply in focus.
On the other hand, the larger the f-stop you use, the larger the depth of field and the more of the scene that’s in focus.
Naturally, the latter is the preferred option in landscape photography because it allows you to keep everything from foreground to background in focus, as seen in the image above.
Start out with something like f/8 or f/11, and work your way up from there.