Find Your Foreground.

I just look at the target and swing.

As a beginning photographer, one of the lessons you learn is to “find your foreground.”

Foreground is the part of a photo that is closest to where the photo was captured from. It’s the first thing your eyes land upon when looking at an image and can be an integral part in leading your eyes toward the subject, or the main part of the image.

Essentially, having an object in front of the subject in your photo will help create depth and draw your eyes to the reason you took the photo, making for a better photograph. Obviously, we don’t want it to be too imposing, lest we lose the focus of the image, but it is an important part of creating a great image.

Imagine you’re attempting to photograph a lightning bolt during a storm. If you’re shooting towards the sky and only the bolt is in frame, sure, you might get an interesting image, but that image won’t give any context to the storm surrounding you.

How big was the bolt? Did it fill the entire night sky before you? How close was it to where you were standing? Did it make your hands tremble as you clicked the shutter?

By adding something into the closest part of the image, you share the rest of the story with your viewer. A windmill can reflect how bright the bolt’s flash was, a road can draw your eyes slowly towards the thunderous clap created by the electrified air, an abandoned barn can give you the chills by showing you just how small you are.

A good image stirs a feeling within us and it all starts in the foreground.

Unfortunately, I often forget to find some foreground to frame my image, subsequently creating a subpar photo. I find my instinct is to just raise my camera, move my subject into focus and click away. I’m in such a rush to capture the story happening in front of me that I fail to fully capture it.

A similar thing happens in golf. I find myself so focused on the target, visualizing the arc my ball is going to create, and where it’s going to land and roll, that I forget that I have to hit the ball first. I forget that the club face needs to contact the ball correctly, in order to achieve that beautiful outcome I’m dreaming of. I forget my swing mechanics, how the way I swing the club will impact the flight of the ball. I forget that stretching helps open up those muscles that create my swing.

I just look at the target and swing. Usually, I swing and miss.

I’m sure you can understand the feeling that creates. Failure. Many a time, I’ve sulked after a bad shot. It wasn’t just the bad shot though.

As humans, we’re predisposed to pouting after a bad outcome. We think, “Why me?” and throw a golf club instead of asking ourselves what went wrong. We think that because we imagined something that it would just come to fruition.

We forget the fundamentals, the foreground that leads us into the rest of our photo. We put the cart before the horse, and before we know it we’re picking up the dominoes and starting over.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.