Sunday, August 02, 2009

Composition part 2: the background

The second in a series on basic composition rules to further enhance the quality of your photographs if you are not aware of them yet - the first one, dealing with the rule of thirds, can be found here. I am using an article on the site Amateur Snapper as a guideline here, but providing examples from my own stream. The background is surprisingly important for the overall composition, as busy and intrusive backgrounds can be quite detrimental to a shot. Often this is rectified by shooting with a suitable depth of field, yielding a blurred background that can even become a bokeh. If your camera cannot handle this, you need to choose the background wisely. Sometimes a plain coloured background works best, and that can even be realized in post-processing as in my shot Cheesy doll, where I got rid of the typical market place disturbances by simply making the whole background black in Photoshop. Alternatively, a somewhat more crowded background may be required to set off a simple main subject as in my shot above, A splash of orange). Here the overall composition gains by the somewhat chaotic monochromatic background, because of the added contrast to the regular shape and colour of the can. Note also the rule of thirds in action in the placement of the can in the overall composition.