Landscape photographers know that you can’t always get what you want when you want it. So, what happens when you don’t get those dramatic skies and perfect clouds that light up like a fireworks show? Do you just give up and go chat with your buddies on social networks? Or find the nearest Starbucks and tell stories about that one time when the light was perfect?
Not me! I try to scout the area for foreground elements that might help me create a photograph with impact. On our last visit to the Maroon Bells, I used reflections to add interest in the foreground of this photograph. I chose to fill the frame mostly with the reflections and fall colors. A small slice of sky is enough to provide a sense of calm.
Reflections are not the only element that you can use to create an interesting foreground. In this next photograph I used colorful pebbles that were sitting just below the surface of Bow Lake in Banff.
A vertical composition lets me fill majority of the frame with the colorful textures of the pebbles. Geology, flowers, flowing water, and other local elements can be used as interesting foreground elements. Get creative with whatever you find on location! When the sky doesn’t grab your attention, find something else that will grab your viewer’s eye.