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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Photography Tip: Adjust the Background to Spotlight Your Subject

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Many times the emphasis you want to place on the subject of your photo can be improved by first focusing your attention on the background. Objects, colors and other elements in the background can often diminish from what would otherwise be a great photograph.

When you are composing your image through your camera's viewfinder or LCD monitor, take a moment to focus on what is appearing behind and around the main subject. Our minds filter out elements that we're not concentrating on, so it is quite easy to overlook telephone poles or other vertical objects that seem to "grow out of the head" of your subject. Other people or things in the background may also seem to be attached to your subject because of their alignment. Colorful signs, bright colors, and other unusual objects in the background can vie for your viewer's attention.

If you notice that the background is affecting your photograph in a detracting way, the easiest solution may be to simply change position. A slightly different angle or perspective can make a huge difference in the final shot. The zoom feature of many cameras can be used to crop the edges of the photo; simply zoom in and out until extraneous objects are cut out and the ideal composition is found.

While a simple, plain background will help your subject stand out without much effort, patterned or colorful background elements do not necessarily have to be avoided. By adjusting the aperture and shutter speed of your camera manually, the focal length of the photo can be shortened so that your subject remains in crystal clear focus while the entire background is transformed into a blend of abstract colors and distracting objects are blurred past recognition.

Daniel Kluz is an Internet marketing and I.T. professional who has personally helped dozens of companies increase their sales with Search Engine Optimization and other Internet marketing strategies. His interest in digital cameras has been reinforced by his work at http://www.RitzCamera.com, and he contributes frequently to the digital photography blog at CamerasOnly.com.

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