Foreground background and middle ground could blend in landscape photography.  Most often, the subject is the picture in its entirety.  This means that you need to make sure that the entire picture is sharp and in focus.   In order to do so you will select a small aperture (f/11 or higher) a wide-angle lens and you will focus a third into the scene.

Foreground background and middle ground elements create better pictures.

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Focusing a third into the scene might be challenging.  A third into the scene would means that these front water plants will be out of focus.  In a picture like the one in this article, there is a better way: Hyper focal distance.

You could calculate the Hyper focal Distance for a specific aperture on a specific focal length and sensor size, using tools available on the web or that you application that you can load on smart phone.  A great site to understand Depth of Field and Hyper focal distance is http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

These applications enable you to calculate for a given focal length and sensor size, which aperture and focusing distance would give you sharp picture from 4 feet to infinity.

In this picture, I had a Canon 5D3 with a 24mm focal length at f/14.  Using these parameters I was able to get this picture sharp from 2.25 feet to infinity when focusing at 4.5 feet.

This method is more accurate than shooting one-third in the picture.  Moreover, in this picture I would be hard press to find out where one-third in the picture was.  The water plants in the foreground where at three feet.

When you want to maximize Depth of Field and you have foreground elements near the camera, knowing about the Hyper focal distance and having tools to calculate it in the field is invaluable.

A strong foreground element, like these water plants,  in front of a lake, with rolling hill and tortured sky are a perfect combination of foreground, middle ground and background to create a dynamic picture.

Try it out by yourself, download a DOF apps on your smart phone and take control of your Depth of Field.

Do you have a DOF apps on your smart phone?  Which one do you like the most?