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Better Backgrounds = Amazing Pictures

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 subject.

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.



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