Quick Tip 105

ISO 200, f7.1, 50mm, 1/50sec

Contrast is Your Friend

When composing a photograph with a lot of colors and shadows you want to be careful that there isn’t too much distraction.  The photo above was composed properly with the geese popping out from the light colors of the grass and fall foliage.  Had the camera been lower the trees behind the geese would have made for crappy composition because they would not have stood out being dark against a dark background.  The photo below is another example of crappy composition.  There is contrast there but the birds don’t stand out from the lily pads and make for an extremely distracting photograph with nothing of great interest.

ISO 200, f8, 85mm, 1/320sec

Things to remember:

  • Change the angle of the camera if your background is reducing the contrast of the subject (or look for a new background).
  • Don’t photograph subjects surrounded by lily pads (just kidding).
  • Avoid mid day sunlight, it tends to wash everything out and be harsh.
  • Look for subjects that pop out of their surrounding (contrast).
  • Use natural lines to lead viewers eyes to your subject if you can.
  • Watch out for repeating patterns that can distract viewers, unless that’s what you’re photographing.
  • If you have distractions, like the lily pads, use a zoom lens to get in close to the subject.
  • Most importantly, do whatever you want… It’s your art…  Enjoy!

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