Mountains make fantastic backgrounds, for the obvious reasons. They’re grand, majestic and simply beautiful.
Sometimes they feel as though they’re from another planet.
There are many ways you can include mountains in the background of photographs. And I don’t mean color versus black and white.
In the first photograph you see here I kept the mountains cool toned with blues, pale greens, and whites.
In the foreground is a warm toned field and an outhouse which is now defunct.
The light on the outhouse is near nothing, so I kept the harsh shadow and detail-less vibe in place.
One of the other things notable about the composition is a sense of scale. By including the outhouse as far from the camera as it is, it feels tiny in comparison to the mountains in the distance.
I could have made it smaller by using a wider lens or stepping backward, but then the sense of scale and composition wouldn’t be how I wanted it.
Instead of the mountains being the only background, the trees in the closer distance are also a background. Like the previous photo, there is also a focal point which offers compositional values and sense of scale.
The focal point in this photo is the river as it curves through the ground and trees.
Then the background of trees appears, creating a wall of darkness and texture. Just behind them are the Grand Teton mountains. Pale, faint and soft.
Having less prominent mountains doesn’t make it lesser a background. It’s simply another take on a subject that doesn’t change.
And that’s one of the challenges of photographers – trying new things.