Tips for cutting down background distractions – for iPhone users too…

Iron form on my porch. Settings:  Nikon D300 Camera, 18-200mm f/2.8 lens, set at 200mm,  Aperture Priority, f/8, 1/160 sec, -1.0EV,
Iron form on my porch. Settings:
Nikon D300 Camera, 18-200mm f/2.8 lens, set at 200mm, Aperture Priority, f/8, 1/160 sec, -1.0EV,

Yesterday we talked about making images that stand out from the crowd. Here is a tip that can really help iPhone and smart phone users, as well as SLR shooters.

Often, that super nice image is just in the wrong place. Light shimmering in the background or twigs that distract –  the list goes on… For SLR users, we can open up the aperture and get closer to the subject to cool things down, as in the example on the left. But, sometimes even that is not enough.

Three leaves. Setting: 18-200 lens set at 200mm, Aperture Priority, f/6.3, 1/4000 sec
Three leaves. Setting: 18-200 lens set at 200mm, Aperture Priority, f/6.3, 1/4000 sec

I believe there will always be something to photograph, and if we think about light as the single most important element, then the options open up.

Such was the case the other day while on the Big Fork Trail here in WNC. I settled on these three Rhode leaves, placed at an angle. As I suggested, I opened up and got close. My 18-200 really gets close without having to use an extension tube. But the sun was bright and, as we can see reflected off the background, even though it was muted.

What to do. Find a different subject.

Rhodedentrun LeafI looked for something in the shade and found this guy with just a tint of light. Underexposing to darken the background, I released the shutter. It’s better. Fewer distractions.

So, I looked around some more and found this Rhode Bud – a little more character and with muted light. Rhode bud

 

When I underexposed and cropped it a little it came out looking like this…

Rhode Bud, underexposed and cropped, Final image
Rhode Bud, underexposed and cropped, Final image

 

 

 

That’s fine for SLR cameras; however, unless your smart/iPhone has a telephoto adapter, mostly the images will be nearly a wide-angle. In that case look for a big tree or open void space behind the subject…

Big Creek - Fire Pink, coloney ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

or create a background and have it with you…    A background can be anything sort of flexible that can be placed behind the subject. It works best if muted. If one of your photos comes out looking like a mistake and the image is soft and multi color you, can have it reproduced on a fabric and use it. Some people use a piece of black felt that can be purchased from the fabric shop.

 

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