December 11, 2011

#46 – Think about the background first.

If you’ve got a camera in your hand, this is the smartest move you can make.

Pay attention to your background.

There are lots of things that can make a great photo – good lighting, the right moment, colours....but nothing makes a snapshot look better faster than being smart about your background. Bad snapshots feature lots of distractions. Good snapshots let the subject pop out, and a big part is making sure you control that background.

So how do you do it? A few of my favourite suggestions:

Blur it out.
Use a high aperture (lower number = higher aperture) and blur out the background. Just turn you camera to Av (aperture mode) and get blurry. This technique makes the stuff in your foreground look better. Use your camera’s zoom here too. The more you zoom, the longer the focal length. The longer your focal length, the easier it is to blur out the background.

Use a solid colour or simple pattern as a backdrop.
Background too distracting? Move your subject somewhere where you don’t have a problem. Brick walls or surfaces with few colours are great.

Get away from people.
You’re at the mall. You want to take a photo of your friend in front of a fountain, but there’s people walking around. You’re better off to move your friend and get the shot with the fountain in the background. Random background people clutter your shot and make photos look meh.

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