January’s photo tip…

pay attention to your background.

dsc_9173Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.

Yousuf Karsh

One of the most important things that I’ve learned over time is when photographing, don’t get so caught up with your subject that you forget to look past it at the background.

I like to photograph ice, snow, and frost and although this morning was a balmy 24 degrees and not cold enough for good frost development, I still wanted to have a wander about and try to coax some frost out of this bubble.

Good photography is about practise and in my opinion continual experimentation. It’s about learning everything that there is to know about your camera so that when your “moments” come you know just how to capture them.

This month’s tip is about the background and the need to also make conscious decisions in that partĀ of the photo. So often I will see a photo posted that could have been amazing if only the photographer had noticed the background.

In this photograph since it wasn’t cold enough for those deep, cut frost patterns to develop I had to look for more to bring this to life. I found it in the background and yes, I was laying on the ground with my chin in the snow. Looking past my reluctant subject I could see some interesting lens flare and bokeh happening so I shifted my framing to include that.

A photograph is made, not taken, so learn to look at all that’s inside of your frame and make sure that it doesn’t detract from what you’re photographing. Watch out for those tree limbs that sprout from behind the head of your subject or those dark patches that just leave a hole in your image.

It’s certainly harder with action shots but with practice you can focus on more than one thing in your image at the same time.

January’s Tip: pay attention to your background!