Better Backgrounds = Amazing
The best way to focus attention on the subject of your
photograph is to isolate your subject in the picture.
There are many ways to accomplish this feat, but the
most dramatic is to control your background
I have compiled a list of 3 simple things you can do to
take an amazing leap forward with your photographic
explorations just by controlling your background.
1. Before pressing the shutter release, look at the edges
of your viewfinder. Look for things that distract from
your subject. Itís very easy to miss something laying in
the background of your image as you intently focus on
what ever it is you are trying to photograph. Things
like a piece of trash, a bright highlight or even
someone in the background making a funny face. When you
spot something in the background, ask yourself if it
helps to place attention on the subject of your image.
If not, then find a way to remove it. If you canít
remove it, then move yourself or your subject.
2. Choose a background that is darker then your subject.
Brighter objects tend to move forward in your
composition. By darker, I donít necessarily mean darker
in color, this is not always possible. But you can
usually make your background darker in tonality by
controlling the light that is available. Place your
subject in light that is brighter then the background.
If this is not possible, then reflect more light on your
There are no hard and fast rules with photographic
techniques. Sometimes you may not be able to use a
darker background. In this case, do just the opposite.
Try to overexpose it. Place your subject in shadow, with
full light on the background. Make sure your exposure is
based on the subject and let the background go. Just be
sure there are no dark objects in the background as they
will tend to distract from your subject.
3. Use selective focus. More simply put, place your
background out of focus. Do this by using the widest
aperture possible. Shoot with your lens wide open if
possible for the most dramatic affect. The larger the
widest aperture is on youíre lens the greater the effect
should be. You will also notice that the closer you get
to your subject, the greater this effect.
Practice each one of these tips and you will be amazed
at the difference it makes.