A blog that focuses on the photography of Dean J. Birinyi, an interior and architectural photographer based in San Francisco, CA.

Tricks of the Trade: Foreground Elements

I include foreground elements in my photographs of architecture and interior design to add depth, indicate scale and contribute to the visual motion of the image by creating a leading line for the eye to follow.

You can use almost anything as a foreground element as long as it’s importance to rest of the image is balanced.

It’s best to keep your foreground relatively featureless to keep it from distracting the attention of the viewer from the actual subject of your photograph. But you can even make the foreground element the critical element of your composition.

Use the compositional rules (rule of thirds, triangles, fibonacci spiral) to build your composition and balance the strength of your foreground with your middleground and background and control how the viewer experiences your image by creating and controlling the circular motion of the image.

Using foreground elements will give your presentation a sophistication that is sure to impress your prospects and clients.


(Images included in this article: Fairfield Library, Fairfield, CA for Kitchell CEM: Holy Names University, Oakland, CA for Gicklehorn Lazzarotto Partners: Granite Bay Bank, Granite Bay, CA for Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners)