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“The best way out is always through.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Include a Dark Foreground in Landscapes

I like landscape photos that really pop off the page, that have some element of drama that forces you take notice of them. One simple way to do that is to frame your scenes, when possible, with a dark foreground. Because the eye naturally seeks lighter areas or areas with more color, using a dark foreground helps to point the viewer to your main subject. It's easy to find dark foregrounds just by exploring a scene a bit until you find an area that is not as brilliantly lit as your main subject. In this scene I used an area of marsh grass along the riverbank that was in shadow and contrasted it with the brightly lit boats. By exposing for the brighter areas the foreground went even darker and made the frame a much bolder element. Also, I was careful to include the dark pilings on the left side of the frame to tie the foreground and middleground areas together.

Photo notes: Photographed with a Nikon D90 with a 24-120mm Nikkor zoom at 120mm (180mm in 35mm terms). Exposure was 1/125 at f/5.6. White balance: cloudy weather.