The composition is one of the most important aspects of photography and also, probably one of the most taken for granted. How you frame your subject and compose your shot ultimately determines how memorable and interesting it is.
A lot of times, we see something that we want to take a picture of and take 15 images of the exact same thing from the exact same spot. Moving a few feet to the right or to the left, getting higher and getting lower can totally change an image and give you a series of unique and interesting images instead of dozens that are almost identical.
Changing your perspective can also help eliminate distracting background elements like cars and other people. It’s important to pay attention to the whole scene. Nothing ruins a portrait faster than a lamp post or street sign coming out of the top of your subjects head! A few steps to the right or left or getting a little higher or lower is all you have to do to get rid of distracting background elements.
Try This: Take a photo - then move a few steps one way to try and eliminate distractions in the background. Compare the images to see how a few steps make a big difference.
Sometimes the surroundings are part of the story and we want to include them in the image. Your best friend in front of the Eiffel Tower, your daughter playing in the waves at the beach, etc…Sometimes the surroundings aren’t important though and can actually be distracting. Are we looking at the couch? The clutter on the coffee table? Is it the car in the background? Or is it a cute baby? Getting close to our subjects and filling the frame with them can make the resulting image more intimate and help clearly define them as the focus.
Try This: Stand where you would normally stand to take a picture and take one. Now take two steps closer. Take another shot. Now, try getting as close as your smartphone camera will allow you to get and take another. Look at your shots. Which is your favorite?
There’s only one more tip left in this series. I hope you’ve been enjoying the tips and are finding them helpful! Have you taken any smartphone pictures that you love? As always, feel free to respond to this email with feedback or questions.