Enhancing your subjects against background
Basic Photography
March 17, 2018

The world is filled with a lot of information. A good image filters out that which is unnecessary and distracting in the image. Selecting the subject is quite easy when you are controlling the elements like in product photography or portraiture. But it’s not always easy to choose a subject. In outdoor photography or landscape photography there are too many elements to choose from. In such cases spend some time photographing the scene to figure out what you want as your subject. Once you’ve decided you can try the following tips to isolate your subject.


The background makes up most of your picture. The background can make your photo or pose a challenge.To draw attention to you subject use a background that is not too loud. A soft, textured or plain background will be best.




Choose a background that contains little to no distractions. Make sure there no other leading elements in the image or that they blend in well with the background.


Fill the frame

Sometimes there is nothing interesting going on with the background. In such cases decide how much of the background you really want in your image. Using the rule of thirds you can fit the background in one third of the image while your subject and secondary elements fill up the rest. To grab attention to your image you can place the subject at the center of your frame. You can fill the frame with the subject by zooming in. Another way to fill the frame is by stepping closer to the subject if possible. You can also try cropping the image during post processing but make sure not to compromise on the quality. Backgrounds provide context and perspective. Make sure not to lose that when filling the frame with the subject. 



Blur it out

Blurring out the background will cause the viewer’s eye to focus on your subject. You can use a shallow field of depth with small apertures (f/2.8 – f/1.4). When you use a shallow field of depth most of the background is not sharp so the focus will be on your subject.



Contrasting Color 

Using contrasting colors for background and your subject will isolate your subject. Using primary colors for your subject will help them pop out against a muted background. If you have control over choosing the background color you can refer to the color wheel for contrasting colors to use.


Breaking pattern

The human eye is tuned to notice patterns and recognize anything that disrupts the pattern. If your background has a particular pattern or if the other elements in your image have a pattern you can use your subject to break the pattern leading the viewer’s eyes directly to your subject. Place your subject in unusual places to break patterns.


Light it up

You can use a spotlight on your subject to isolate your subject from the background. You don’t necessarily have to use lighting equipment for this. Experiment and play with natural lighting to focus the viewer’s attention on your subject. You can also slightly underexpose the background for a dramatic effect.


Basic Photography
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