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Better Backgrounds... Better Images!


This is the blog for More Than A Snapshot's Online Photography Classes.  In these blog posts I will give photography tips, tutorials, and show images.

Better Backgrounds... Better Images!

Gary Detonnancourt

When framing an image, it's import to look for distracting elements so you can try not to include them in the image.  These could include objects, letters, words, colors, bright spots etc...  Then again why not take it a step further, why not look for great backgrounds that add to the images impact.  Here are 10 tips for better backgrounds.

1.  Use a professional backdrop.  Sometimes your situation requires a backdrop that can be put up anywhere and will look great in no time.

Anastasia by Babak Fatholahi on

2.  Blurr the Background.  Creating bokeh is a great way to hide distractions, but even with this type of image it's helpful to have a lot distance between your subject and the background and it helps to have a telephoto lens with a wide open aperture, often wider than F/2.8.

Ground Squirrel by Julian Rad on

3.  Motion blur can also hide a distracting background.

__transporter__ by Abdullah Aydemir on

4.  Use a telephoto lens to create a tight crop.  Getting up close eliminates most of the background.

Golden eagle by Mario Vigo on

5.  Sometimes the background is the subject

Morning Light on the Eastern Sierras by Derek Kind on

6.  Sometimes the background is a natural part of the subject.

Aga 4 by Przemyslaw Chola on

7.  Use a dark background.

Kim by Alex Heitz on

8.  Use an overexposed background.

by the window by y*  on

9.  Use a background that feels very natural for the type of subject.

Plane Wreckage, Iceland by Sarawut Intarob on

10.  Use a background that leads to a vanishing point.

Forever Friends by Annie Whitehead on

As you can see in the image above, it also helps if the background has some complementary colors to the subject.  Colors that don't match the subject will be a distraction and you may want to consider doing some color work in Photoshop or converting the image to black and white.