Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Digital Photography Tips - The Background Part 1

When taking pictures, we concentrate intently on our subjects - but what about the background? Upon later inspection of our photos, we often find the background detracting from an otherwise great shot.

Taking control of the background can help turn a snapshot into a beautiful photo.

The first step to improving the backgrounds in our photos is to be conscious of the background's importance to our photos. We must know that the right backgrounds can make our shots stand out. This often means simply paying attention to what is behind out subjects during our photography sessions.

Unfortunately, the complete solution is not nearly as simple. The normal goal is to keep the subject as the center of interest in a picture (not to be confused with the center of a picture). Your eye should be drawn to the subject in the final image, and the background must not be distracting from the subject. Shots must be setup to take advantage of a clean or pleasing background.

First suggestion is to utilize your lens to throw the background out of focus. The depth of field (amount of in-focus distance) in your picture needs to be reduced enough so that the subject is sharp and the background is blurred. Notice how the Sun Flower stands out against its background in the above picture. There are no distractions. A combination of factors allows your lens to accomplish this task.

How to get this , first, open the aperture wide. All other factors being identical, a wider the aperture yields a shorter depth of field. How wide? Experience is the best teacher here. The above picture was taken at f/5.6. Try make an Experiment!

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