To try this out, I took some experimental shots around my house. The first set of pictures shows the vegetable garden. By stepping up closer before taking the second shot, I emphasized the flag and provided a focal point to an otherwise blah scene.
The first shot in the second set of pictures shows a typical pool scene. By getting in lower and closer to the cue ball, the second shot emphasizes the player's point of view.
Here are a couple of real-life examples.
What did I learn?
- I looked through my old photos and found I don't use this technique nearly often enough. Often, a landscape shot can be improved by adding some interest in the foreground.
- It occurred to me that this same technique can be applied to the typical tourist shot ("Look, Mom, here I am in front of the Eiffel Tower!"). These shots often don't do justice to either the people or the site. Instead, try putting some distance between the person in the shot and the site, get up close to the person, and then shoot the scene with both the person and the site in the frame. I used a remote to do something similar in the following picture showing my friends and me in front of the Seattle skyline.