What is Behind your Photograph is as Important as in Front

It is not a nice feeling when I get home and look at that one photograph that I thought would be amazing only to see that the background was awful.  So what can I do?

Quite often I find a brilliant subject for a photo only to be destroyed by an awful background or colours that would affect the final shot.  The background is very important to the final picture in the sense that can either add to the overall photo taken or detract from the subject, and on the internet, there is no shortage of potentially fantastic images that have a backdrop that has ruined the final image.  On the other hand, we can always spend a few hours in photoshop and give ourselves the perfect backdrop but, why spend hours when a few extra seconds just looking around a subject can turn those hours into a few minutes or so.

 

Some Tips

Maybe consider taking a few photographs at different angles with different apertures, a blurry background will often make the subject stand out.

Also, look at the viewfinder, the whole rectangle, and visualize the finished photo.  Not the subjects or subject but every little bit of that box.

So what do I do?

  • I look around my subject for that angle that gives a nice background.  For example, a sun setting behind a fishing boat.
  • If I can not find that angle, I avoid clashing colors. ie: A red flower probably would not look good with a blue backdrop
  • If I still cannot find the angle, I look at an angle where the background is as far away as possible and reduce my aperture to get a very blurry backdrop.
  • And if still an angle is not found, I will consider photoshop.

Here are two example of closely choosing the backdrop to achieve the effect of the subjects standing out.

Clear Chosen Backgrounds

Clear Chosen Backgrounds

So next time you find that amazing shot, quickly glance around and see if the background can be improved.
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