Raise your hand if you like reading long lists of physical descriptions in prose... whether they be describing a a person, place, or thing.
What? No takers?
I've read stories like that before and it irks me. My, how the sands have shifted... I used to write that way as well. The passages always began so innocently. Something akin to:
Jenna walked in. She had dark brown hair and light brown eyes. Her red camisole matched her red heels. She wore a pair of form fitting, dark rinse jeans. The club was dark and noisy. Lights flashed in time to the blaring music.
If I was writing the scene now, I would try to reveal her physical features over time, not all at once. I might begin with one feature. Have her do something or say something and then come back to the next feature a little later. I also like to engage a person's physical features during pauses or beats in between dialogue. And mostly one at a time... maybe two... but never ever more than two at a time.
In terms of environment, I always try to have the character notice something about the setting or environment. If that's not possible, or I've used the *notice something* trick already, I try to have the character interact with their setting... take a book off the shelf, scrape their feet across the dry earth, run their hand over a rough wall, etc.
Here's an example from my current WIP, The Sky Throne:
So, tell me... what techniques do you use to introduce physical features and setting?