Monday, August 23, 2010

Watching the Background

I used to think that in taking pictures, the entire point was to grab a snapshot of the person (place or thing), and that nothing but focus mattered.  In other words, if it was focussed - it was good.  In the days of film, if it wasn't too dark and in focus - it was good.

There are a few simple, VERY SIMPLE, things that you can do to find yourself much happier with the images you're getting.  My very adorable four-year-old has contributed to our post today.  Here are some great examples of images that are not that great.
In image one you see the fireplace and an old camera bag on the hearth.  Obviously, these don't contribute to the image in any way.  You might not see them right away, but do they help?  Nope.
In the second image - yeah, that's the dog's rear end.  And brother's hat near the front door.
Final image - Okay, I love a book background, so I don't hate the idea here.  But he looks like he has a book coming out of his ear!  Maybe that explains the look on his face.  (yeah, that was lame).

So - when you're shooting those fantastic pictures, just take a minute to think.  See past those gorgeous eyes and see the background too.  Think about it before you snap.  A quick shift in perspective can change everything. 

The other thing you can do is get a little closer.  That's right - don't be shy.  And I don't recommend using your camera's zoom unless absolutely necessary.  I never use it.  Just get in there and take the shot.  Think about this - the more your subject fills the picture, the less background things are competing.  In the center image above the dog's rear is fighting for the attention that should soley belong to my son. 

Here are some examples of images that are much stronger just by simply my moving slightly for a better background, and then not being afraid to get closer. 
In case you were wondering - YES, my 4 year old is Spiderman.
Happy Shooting!!!!

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