Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Add depth to your thinking


Tranquility
Originally uploaded by James Jordan.
I took a landscape watercolor painting class while studying art in college. The instructor was the stereotypical artist – white hair, goatee, elegant dresser. As we developed our compositions in class, he walked from easel to easel repeating his mantra, “Foreground, middle ground, background … foreground, middle ground, background.”

It was his way of drilling into us the discipline of creating depth by including details from near to far. Too often, beginning landscape photographers focus on the beautiful background in their pictures. If any middle ground detail makes it into their pictures, it’s a happy accident, and foreground is rarely given any thought. The results are rather flat-looking pictures.

The next time you are composing a picture, try to highlight all three zones – foreground, middle ground and background. And this isn't just for landscapes. When I take snapshots of family, I still pay attention to the three zones - it helps establish a sense of place while adding depth to the picture. I shoot the largest percentage of my photos at a wide angle setting, which helps accentuate depth.

Establishing three distinct zones in a photo is tougher than it sounds, and it takes some practice to become consistent at it, but it makes for more interesting photos.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Photographs © 2007 James Jordan.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Curly Mommy said...

Keep blogging. I am reading. Great advice. Thanks.

January 17, 2007 at 2:53 PM  

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