Image by Federico Alegría
When You Want To Show Context In Your Photograph
Foreground interest is not always necessary. In street photography, there is a vast richness of context can be captured to tell a better story. Remember: you’re not only looking for portraits but for meaningful stories and contexts too.
Therefore, other elements surrounding a subject – ones that help tell the subject’s story – may be needed in the image. This doesn't mean necessarily that you’ll end up with two-dimensional images, but with the right focus and aperture setting the total context will reflect the complete message.
Use It When Keeping Distance
Street photography is more likely to occur with wide-angle lenses and walking instead of zooming. Of course, this is not a standard. I think street photography is a less-standard photography niche, but when you’re doing it, it is very useful to have small, unobtrusive gear with wide-angle optics.
Whichever option you love the most, you have to keep in mind that when framing a scene with rich context, especially when there is some distance between you and the subject, there is no need for foreground interest.
Foreground Interest In Street Photography Will Also Help You With…
One of the most iconic elements for which early photography is remembered is its ability to convey a richer sense of tridimensionality than painting (which started showing tridimensionality as it was meant to be in the sixteenth and seventeenth century).
Spatial interest is achieved when a close object is contrasted with the large space behind it. It can be enhanced with lines, so the reading of the photograph has a richer visual path.
Enhancing The Subject’s Importance
Image by Federico Alegría
When you apply foreground interest, all the immediate attention will be drawn to the subject in focus at the closer distance within the whole focal scope of the picture.
By using foreground interest, you'll help the main subject appear as the protagonist, or at least the main focus of interest, in the picture.
Which Is The Best Way For Getting Rich Spatiality?
Hyper-focal distance is a term that may seem complex, but it’s not. I'll try to explain it the simplest way I can, and you'll see its important application in foreground and beyond.
The hyper-focal distance is the closest distance between the front element of a lens and the closest in-focus object when the camera is focused at infinity. Each lens has a different hyper-focal distance. Summary
For me, one of the best examples of everything I mention above is
Josef Koudelka's photo of the Invasion of Prague in 1968. The image is simple but extremely powerful.
Josef Koudelka is a talented photographer born in Moravia inside the region previously known as Czechoslovakia (today, the Czech Republic).
He is best known for his street photography and social documentary. He took this image at the exact moment when Prague was invaded by the Warsaw Pact military forces.
The watch is evidence of the moment when this occurred, and the lone streets behind this foreground object give us an idea of the general feeling of the streets in the city, setting the stage for what was about to happen.
We have an exclusive Guide to Composition for understanding how you can use it to improve your photography. Written by expert photographer and author Kent DuFault, this guide will certainly ensure you're photography is on track – no matter what style or genre. Further Resources