I’d hate to come across as a grump but….I really can’t stand sloppy reasoning (or worse, a lack of it) when it comes to composition. The Big Foreground is one of the favourite devices used by landscape photographers to draw attention to a particular element of the composition and to enhance a sense of depth in the image. Fine, but examination of an awful lot of these images shows that the photographer is so wedded to this compositional convention that he or she will use the most insignificant stick or stone as the foreground anchor while the greatly diminished, but vastly more interesting background elements are shouting, “Hey, what about US?! Get a telephoto on!”. The photographer could argue that they want to tantalise the viewer and create tension between banal foreground and interesting background elements but it only creates tension in the viewer who is straining to see the interesting part of the shot.
By making a Big Foreground you are saying to the viewer, “THIS is what I want you to look at: THIS is the most interesting thing in the shot.” Or, at the very least, “THIS is just as important as what’s behind: do you see how the two work together?” The Big Foreground is a great device, but let’s use it intelligently.