HOW TO: Pleasing Backgrounds


Some photographic subjects just love to be the center of attention. Single flowers are known for this. Especially if the background is not competing with the flower for recognition.

Some backgrounds can be just too distracting if you are trying to emphasize a particular object. The good news is you can alter the appearance of your subject’s surroundings in several ways

One of which is to use a fast lens (i.e. apertures of 1.2 or 1.8 etc) with the aperture close to wide open. A fast lens will tend to blur the background better, so your subject will be more prominent.

Another method is to use a telephoto lens with the aperture close to wide open. If you are at a reasonable distance from your subject, the short depth of field that these lenses offer can be utilized to blur the background.

If the conditions warrant, meaning it won’t be in the way of passers-by, a tripod should be used along with a cable release, remote, or self timer to avoid camera shake, especially if slower shutter speeds are involved. It will also aid in composition.

Composition can also be a major factor in making your subject more prominent. Use the rule of thirds. Rather than have the main subject right smack dab in the middle of your frame, adjust the composition so it is a little to the left of center or a little to the right. Or even adjusting a little towards the bottom or the top of the frame can alter a composition to make it more appealing.

Experiment…you’ll be pleased with the results.



  1. September 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Fantastic advice! Thanks.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: