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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Here's One Of The Easiest Ways To Totally RUIN A Good Photograph!

By Dan Eitreim

Ok, we haunt the camera shops, try out and buy all the latest gadgetry, read all the photo magazines and books. Finally, we load some film into our camera, (or insert a new memory stick) find a suitable subject and start firing away!

Afterwards, we spend a couple hours trying to remember how to download the photos to our computer - why does everything have to be so technical(?) - or we take our exposed film to the local processing lab. Finally our pictures are ready.

Our gorgeous model has a tree growing out of her head - on every shot in the ENTIRE session! Or, we never noticed that garbage can off to the side. You know, the one ruining the best shots. Did you notice the cars driving by in the background? How about the bunch of kids walking by?

Yeah, we fell into the trap of focusing all our attention on the model and not looking around at the other elements in the scene. It's easy to do. And I don't care who they are, every photographer out there has done the same thing!

Photography is a very technical art! We have to worry about the light, the f-stop, the shutter speed, film speed and so on. Next we throw in the models' pose, smile, eyes - and now we're expected to notice the trash cans, kids and cars in the background?

Yes! Make it a habit to add one more second to your photo setup and run your eye all the way around the edges of the viewfinder. This extra step of looking for potential problems is pretty easy - if you make it a habit.

Slow down. It's easy to get caught up in the moment and shoot too fast. Force yourself to scan the viewfinders' edges. What about that trash can off in the distance? Will it be blurred out? Or will it show in focus in the final print. Can you or your model move so you are shooting at an angle to eliminate it?

Is there a street in the backdrop? Take a second to check and see if there is any traffic coming - either auto or pedestrian traffic. If so, can you change the scene to eliminate the problem? Or will you have to wait for a break in the traffic?

I know this is a very obvious tip, but if this wasn't a very costly, everyday problem I wouldn't have bothered with this article. You can save a lot of time and money by just taking an extra second or two and looking at your backgrounds.

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