No Foreground
/forum/topic/1160087/0



Camperjim
Registered: Oct 17, 2011
Total Posts: 1949
Country: United States

A great landscape is supposed to have an interesting foreground, midground and background region. I have lots and lots of images where I liked the scenery but just had nothing in the foreground to add interest. Often the boring foreground is a lake -- just water, no reflections or interest. In this case I have a mountain scene with miles of featureless dirt and sagebrush and no way to get a closeup of individual plants.

I guess this sort of image will never fall into the great landscape category, but I would like to end up with the best travel snapshot I can have. I often can't decide whether to keep the boring foreground to provide some sense of place or just crop it out. Here is an example with two different crops. Which works better?



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13182
Country: United States

Just a little bit less FG aggressive crop, so that you still show a sliver in front of the foothills. A trim off the top to balance to taste.



ben egbert
Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Total Posts: 6724
Country: United States

163mm on a crop is a telephoto shot. Takes really clear air to pull that off. Even though there is a large swath of mountain shown here, its not a traditional scape.

That being said, it sort of falls outside the traditional scape and becomes something else. Sort of like a mountain macro. (just an attempt to illustrate my point).

I don't think much of the rules anyway, but I think what I said eliminates them because it would not apply if this is not a traditional landscape.



sbeme
Registered: Dec 23, 2003
Total Posts: 17674
Country: United States

either your second version or Kent's could work.
I lean towards your cropped version as it simplifies the image with a strong play of the brown foreground hills against the distant blue mountains with echoing shapes.
With Kent's crop the dark patch becomes an additional subject, strongly draws my eye to the bottom but without much detail. To me, Kent's version now makes a subject of layers of plains and layers of mountains. A different message but effective as well.

Scott



sadja
Registered: Nov 05, 2002
Total Posts: 285
Country: United States

Jim, I would crop just below the dark trees and lose about 1/2 the sky.



Oregon Gal
Registered: Nov 02, 2008
Total Posts: 2038
Country: United States

Jim, I think a curves boost would add the extra pop needed. I also used Nik ColorEFX4, Detail Extractor at a low opacity of 10 to extract a little more detail.



Camperjim
Registered: Oct 17, 2011
Total Posts: 1949
Country: United States

Since the file you are working with is so small, I cannot see much difference. I don't have Nik software. Can you explain how a detail extractor works? Does this enhance contrast?



Oregon Gal
Registered: Nov 02, 2008
Total Posts: 2038
Country: United States

Camperjim, the Detail Extractor pulls more detail from an image and you have an option to boost contrast as well. I usually leave the contrast setting to a default of +6. I also used Dodge and burn for lightning the foreground highlights and did a little burning to the shadow areas of the image which helps to accentuate the shapes. I am a fan of Nik products and recommend highly Color EFEX4 and Silver EFEX 2 for B/W conversions but a lot of the same things can be accomplished in PS.