Photo Tip: How to create depth in landscape photos

Ladew Gardens, Maryland - Landscape photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

To successfully capture a memorable landscape photo, you need to study various perspectives and vantage points from which you can shoot a particular outdoor scene.

Even gorgeous blue skies over snowcapped indigo mountains reflected in a still lake can be boring. We’ve seen that shot many times before. So the challenge with landscape photography is trying different perspectives on scenes we’ve all seen before.

One way to do this is to mentally divide the landscape into three parts – a foreground (F), a middle ground (M), and a background (B) – to tell the story of the landscape.

To illustrate the F-M-B concept, look at the photograph above. It was taken at a botanical garden with a lot of green space and trees.

By switching perspectives and angles, I was able to compose an interesting shot from a pretty boring scene by putting some intertwining flowers in the foreground, showing elements of the vast green space in the middle ground, and leaving the trees to serve as the background that encloses the scene.

Working with foregrounds, middle grounds, and backgrounds also adds depth to your photographs, giving viewers an idea of distance.

Here are a few more landscape shots to illustrate this concept.

Ladew Gardens, Maryland

Ladew Gardens, Maryland

Akerstrom_Ladew_002

Ashford Castle, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

So next time you’re shooting a landscape scene, try a slightly different perspective on your subject. Instead of focusing on rock formations themselves, why not focus on some elements such as trees and flowers in the foreground while keeping the main attraction slightly out of focus in the background?

Keep the F-M-B concept in mind when trying different perspectives.