In landscape photography, the foreground is often an important element in composing a photograph. The use of nearby objects such as flowers, a flowing river or branches of a tree is a common way to lead the viewer back into the scene toward the major geographic landmarks of a place. A field of poppies leads the eye back toward green, rolling hills. A meandering stream wanders across the image frame to reveal golden desert cliffs beyond. One key advantage to using prominent foregrounds is that it gives the viewer a sense of being there, that one could walk right into the scene. On the other hand, if one wishes to create some mystery to a landscape, providing a lot of context and description will leave little to the imagination.
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William Neill is a renowned nature and landscape photographer and a recipient of the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Neill's award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars and posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection and The Polaroid Collection. Neill's published credits include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Natural History, National Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen's Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Sierra and Outside magazines. He is also regular contributor to Outdoor Photographer with his column “On Landscape”.