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Composition Tips for Better Images

hello…I hope wherever you are, you are capturing memories…time goes so very quickly – don’t take it for granted.

Whether your subjects are friends, family, pets, moments – you will ‘feel’ more when your images have more pleasing composition.

What do I mean by composition?

I’m going to show you three images so you can see what I’m talking about…but first let me explain a bit about the terms and concepts I used to show you what I’m talking about.

Composition refers to the choices you make about what you include AND what you leave out of your images.  It’s really important to check your photos for distractions that you may not notice when you’re taking the photo.  As you pay more attention, you’ll find that you choose NOT to take some photos because the background or the ‘other’ things creeping into your image, kind of ruin it.

You want the viewer’s eye to be drawn to your subject – they shouldn’t have to guess what you were really taking a picture of.  Background is very important – and sometimes just shifting your position a bit can get rid of a background that ruins your image.  Sometimes the distractions are things on either side of your ‘subject’.  Again, you can try moving a bit and see if you can make them go away.

A related choice is how much of the image do you want to be sharply in focus?  It may be you want everything in focus – really common for landscapes, etc. or maybe you only want your subject sharp and you want the rest of be softer – some call it ‘blurry’ and you’ll see it called bokeh in photography.

So, here are the three images…Just click on each image, and it will pop up into the larger box so you can check it out more easily.

In the first image you see a lot more of the surroundings in the photo – great old chairs, lights strung on the fence and Indigo.  But, it’s a bit busy isn’t it?  If I asked you what the subject is, you’d probably say Indigo, but maybe it was the whole scene.  You can see part of her leash as well as chairs, railing, lights…It’s also a bit awkward where I crop Indigo – it feels a little uncomfortable, doesn’t it?

In the second image, I pull it together the way I want to see it.  I feel more when I look a this image.  Indigo is clearly my focus and the lights softly out of focus add interest but they don’t compete with Indigo for attention.

In the last image, you’ll see bokeh in action.  I loved these lights strung on the fence, and I shot this so only the second light was sharp and the rest were out of focus.  This technique makes it very clear where I want your eye to go in this photo.

I’d love to hear from you with any questions or comments!

And, of course I’d enjoy chatting with you about creating images that you will love forever.

I’m beginning work on a series of simple booklets to explain photographic concepts in a way that allows you to get started playing with your camera right away – so, go ahead and sign up for my blog posts on the right side of this post to keep up to date on release dates.

 

Cheryl

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