There’s nothing more disappointing to landscape photographers than traveling to what they thought would be a great location, only to find a scene that is just plain boring. Maybe that’s because of dull, flat light, or perhaps the spot just doesn’t meet expectations.
But you’re already there, right? So instead of returning home, take a look around, pull out your gear and make the best of the situation. As the video below demonstrates, one way to do that is by finding an interesting foreground object and making that the focus of your photograph.
British pro Nigel Danson has experienced both hits and misses during numerous excursions in the past, and he usually comes home with stunning imagery. In this episode he explains when and how to concentrate on the foreground when confronting less-than-ideal conditions in the field.
In some ways, good landscape photographers are like adept fly fishermen who leave their tackle in the bag until they’ve walked down to the stream, studied the flow of the water, gauged the wind direction, and determined what bugs are hatching that day. So too should the landscape photographer scrutinize a scene before whipping out a camera—especially when faced with a dull view.
In this behind-the-scenes tutorial you’ll follow Danson as he trudges through the field on a cold day, while demonstrating several of his tricks for composing images with strong foreground elements. You’ll also also pick up important technical tricks for making the shot once you’ve settled on the framing.
There’s no real magic here other than a different way of seeing, although Danson does provide a quick editing tip at the end of the tutorial if you want to takes things even further. After watching the video, be sure to visit Danson’s YouTube channel for more great tips.
We also suggest you look at another tutorial we posted recently, with the best camera settings for handheld travel and nature photos.