Ideal Placement of Background Objects In Your Digital Photography

Annoying Background objects are one of the things that detract from a beautiful digital picture.  They are a distraction. I see it all the time. A vase on the table in the background that had nothing to do with the message the photographer is conveying. Or perhaps something sticking out of the top of something that ends up being irrelevant and a visual nuisance.

Story Telling In Digital Photography

To avoid this I would like to draw to your attention to the importance of story telling in digital photography. In each individual photo you take, when you are capturing a situation, what you are really doing is telling a story.

A big, majestic landscape is the photographers way of saying, "See how this scene creates feeling of tranquility and calm?" Another picture might show you the adrenaline of a race and another might show you the depth of emotion at a birthday party. 

What Makes Pictures Work in Digital Photography?

Now what makes these pictures work so well is that every single thing, or object, in the photo has ideal and relevant placement in relation to the story you are telling in the photo. A relevantly placed object can completely increase the nature and feeling of the story.

Just as equally powerful, an irrelevant object can ruin or down-play the intensity of emotion in your images and they won't be as powerful. And don't be fooled by thinking the space around the subject doesn't matter just because its space and not an object.

Distracting Background Objects in Digital Photography

Copyright by Peter Kovar

I understand what the photographer is trying to do but the Moon is distracting. Where does the photographer want us to look?

  • Is it a shot of the moon with birds?
  • Or is it a shot of birds with the moon?

I'm not sure.

You see how one simple additional subject can detract from the essence of the photograph? As a consequence it looses a lot.

Example of Background Objects That Enhance Digital Photography

Since we are using birds, an example of an additional subject that enhances the feeling and story of a photograph is this next one.

This photo works fine because the chimney and the white bird to the left make sense for each other to be there in the same photo. They are linked and we understand that.

We can understand that perhaps the chimney is the birds dwelling place and has relevancy in the bird's life. It makes sense.

Always remember that no matter how big or how small, other objects will really make or break your photo.

And the size doesn't matter, as you have seen in these two examples. Its not about the size of something in the picture, it's about relevance.

Amy Renfrey is one of my favorite digital photography teachers and writers. I would like to thank Amy for her contributions in this digital photography article. I highly recommend her E-books Digital Photography Success. Amy's style of writing is easy to follow. Take better photos and enjoy the adventure.
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