Photography Cheat Sheet: Using Foreground Interest in Landscape Photography

You’ve heard about putting interesting elements on the foreground of landscape photos. This photography cheat sheet explains how.

Among the important landscape photography techniques every beginner should learn is how to draw the eyes to the shot by adding a foreground element. A common mistake with landscape photography is thinking it’s only about shooting a sweeping capture of the scene: a misconception that reduces the shot to a snapshot that lacks a clear subject or point of interest. This is where today’s photography cheat sheet is useful with some tips on adding foreground interest and leading lines to strengthen your landscape photography.

Digital Camera World begins their cheat sheet below by pointing out that we see a countryside scene differently when we’re on location compared to its photograph. We tend to look around and focus on small details and ignore what’s in our peripheral vision, so we don’t notice what’s in front of us right away. However, when we look at a photograph of the same scene, the foreground immediately becomes more important to us. This is why foreground interest is always part of an eye-catching photograph.

Apart from filling an empty space in the scene, foreground interest also gives a sense of scale and makes the progression from the near, middle, and far areas clearer. In effect, this becomes a visual journey for the viewer so they know the order through which their eyes should roam around the scene. This technique, when paired with leading lines, is useful for bringing the attention of your viewer to both near and far elements.

However, the guide also warns against selling your viewers short. It’s suggested to look for eye-catching elements like bright colors, lines, and shapes to incorporate in your capture. When shooting running water, don’t forget to use a polarizing filter to remove the glare and reveal details under the surface. Lastly, if the element you want to emphasize is in the distance, look for something interesting to frame in your foreground in place of a large, blank space.

Additional photography cheat sheet readings:

Landscape Photography Tips for Beginners

Mastering Composition for Landscapes

Composition Formats for Landscape Photography

Need more photography tips and tricks like this? Don’t forget to check out our photography cheat sheet collection to find more that will come in handy for your next shoot and projects!