Creating a “sense of place” in your photos

When composing my photos,  I try to give the viewer a “sense of place”. Sometimes I include a small creek alongside the main subject, or I use a boulder or rock in the water to “anchor” the viewer.  Often when photographing wildflowers in a high altitude basin, I show some of the surrounding mountains.  I like to think of my compositions as having a “star of the show” and a supporting cast.

A sense of place is created by including the creek, as well as the wilds. I think of the Elegant Death Camas in this scene as the “stars” of the show and the creek and other wildflowers as the supporting cast. ©Kit Frost
The boulder and snowy land on the left anchor this composition. I could have simply photographed the reflection and the distant high peaks, but instead chose to show a nearby edge of the land to anchor the scene and make it less abstract.  ©Kit Frost
By photographing from a low camera position, this composition includes a strong foreground, middle-ground and shows a sense of place in the distance too. A wide-angle lens helps to really show the full sweep of this composition. Moving in close to the paintbrush in the foreground creates the feeling of size and presence.  My tripod leg was just outside of the scene. Nikon D-5100 w/Nikon 16-85 lens ©Kit Frost

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