During a recent visit to the Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia I had the opportunity to do some landscape photography along the shoreline, using rocks as foreground elements.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
What will often catch my eye is a series of rocks that form a leading line starting in one corner of an image, leading the viewer’s eye into the photograph, as illustrated in the above capture.
Using rocks as a bottom bar to create a feeling of intimacy with the scene is another technique that can be quite effective. Shooting these types of images up close while using a wide angle focal length can help create the perspective of ‘being in the image’ for a viewer.
Although much harder to find, a rock formation like the one in the image above that serves as both a bottom bar and a leading line, can help direct the viewer’s eye to a subject element in a photograph.
Looking for ‘paths of pebbles’ in between larger rocks can serve as a subtle leading line. Incorporating some driftwood in the corner of an image can also help direct the reader’s eye into the photograph and accentuate the feeling of depth.
Sometimes a large, flat expanse of rock can help create a feeling of vastness or being alone. If the rocks have some splashes of colour created by moss, lichen or kelp they can add some interest to a photograph.
Using rocks as foreground elements in your compositions can help reinforce the rugged, natural beauty in the scene you are capturing.
All images were captured hand-held in available light using a Nikon 1 J5 and 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens. All photographs in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 11, CS6 and the Nik Collection.
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