Meeting Photo Challenges
Creative Image Processing
Nature & Outdoor
Creating Better Photographics
Night & Low Light Photography
Light & Exposure
Close-Up & Macro
Digital Black & White
Color & Design
Choosing & Using Lenses
Digital Photography Equipment
Simplify Your Compositions ...it’s simple!
Good photographs needn’t be complicated.
The photographer came across a weathered bench in front of a building with
some shuttered windows. And that’s just what he shows the viewer. He didn’t
try to include the whole building, or its surroundings. He simplified the photo
by including only the bench and two shuttered windows. (He made this photo with
an Advanced Photo System point-and-shoot camera, by the way—you don’t
need fancy gear to get good shots.)
One way to keep a composition simple is to use negative space. Negative space is the portion of the composition not occupied by the subject, and as a photographer, you ought to think about it when you shoot.
Most photographers tend to over-concentrate on their subject, to the detriment
of the rest of the image. When composing your images, consider first the subject’s
location in the frame. Then, examine the rest of the image area. Do the other
elements in the picture add to it or detract from it? Are there distracting
elements in the background? Perhaps moving the camera right or left (or up or
down) will give you a better background. (You can throw distracting background
elements out of focus by shooting with the lens set to its largest aperture,
but it’s better to eliminate the distracting elements from the background
if possible.) When shooting action subjects, check the background area before
the subjects arrives, and move to a better camera position if necessary to avoid
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