Monday, 2 August 2010

Better backgrounds = Better photos

It’s very easy to get caught up in the emotion of taking photos and forget a few basic rules. Important rules like checking your camera’s ISO isn’t set to 1600, that the lens isn’t switched to manual focus and the self timer isn’t turned on. Three mistakes I’ve made more then once.

But one rule I always keep in mind is ...
Think about the background.

Take this image. It was part of a music shoot I did over the past weekend. The result is not one of my best shots and I know I could do better. It's the boring brown background that lets the image down, Fortunately I was aware of this and had a plan.

I'd had a bit of a wait before the band came on stage, so I used that time to check the camera settings were all ok and take some meter readings. I also had a look at the stage and realised the background was going to be a problem. This wide shot should give you some idea of what I had to work with.

The background was going to be either brown or black and neither was looking good. Fortunately there was a small poster at the back of the stage and by moving into a central position and picking my moment I could get the artist behind it.

Grizzly South - Live

Hopefully you’ll agree that changing the background lifts the image from a good shot to and eye catching great shot.

So remember, backgrounds are important and a good one will compliment and even enhance your main subject.


Christian van Tilborg fotografie said...

nice background at the last picture!
It's also nice to see the audience reflecting in the sunglasses!

Would you please check out my site?

Arnout said...

Well done and nicely explained (seeing what you had to work with).

What gear did you use for this shoot?
It can be somewhat dark (in my experience) and to get the image razor-sharp (from a distance) is always tricky when you aim for as low as possible ISO settings.

César said...

Thanks again Gavin !!
So simple details that can make a photo look better... thanks for the TIPs and for open our eyes !!

Can you please tell us more about the camera and setting you used for this shot?

Shino Lim said...

Thanks Gavin, i learn alot from you !

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