Thursday, September 8, 2011

Framing Subjects in Your Photo

Scanning Negatives Project - from Roll 3

From my third roll of film, here is an example of a common mistake made by many beginning photographers. Yup, I am even guilty of it. By looking at this image I can tell where the center of my lens is focused and instead of moving around to get the subjects to fill the frame, I took the picture you see here. Look at all that useless space around the two subjects! I certainly new nothing about composing a picture when I started. 

Since I was using a fixed 50mm lens what I should have done was moved in closer to the subjects, focused on the edge of their faces and then moved the camera so that the subjects filled the frame of the camera better. 

Using Photoshop I have created an example of what a better image would have been. See below.

From a typical photographers point of view this is a better photo of the two subjects. This is a more pleasant photo to be shared with others and for printed memories. Notice that the focus is on the subjects and filling the frame with the two subjects.

With the digital cameras available today they make it so much easier to frame your subjects better in the display or viewfinder. But there are still things to take into consideration in regards to framing your subjects for digital display and for prints. That is a subject I will discuss further in a another article.

For now though, the next time you go to take a picture take a look around your subjects and ask yourself, do I really want that in the final picture? If not, take the picture anyway and then try to look for a better shot and take that too. It’s digital, you don’t need to care anymore if you take a picture you don’t like!

For DSLR users many of them have a cropping function built into the camera, I know mine does and I use it often. There are limitations to zooming and cropping and you need to make yourself aware of them. I suggest taking test shots and playing around with it, learn the limitations especially with the high ISO ranges.

Tip for Compact Digital Cameras - before making your purchase make sure that you test the zoom feature of the camera. I have noticed some of them have almost fixed points when it comes to zoom which means that once you have it where you want it it makes an adjustment to a fixed point determined by the camera. You don’t want that (at least I don’t want that), you want to zoom in on your subjects and have the lens stop in that position so you get the picture you want.

My next request is that you share what you learn about taking better pictures. If someone can learn from my mistakes and help a friend or relative take better pictures go for it! 

Enjoy Life! Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers. You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

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