Fixing Bad Pictures: why do my photos look so cluttered?
Are your backgrounds distracting?
It’s easy to forget the importance of your backgrounds, so let us remind you – they can make all the difference! Here are three solutions to tidy up your cluttered photos…
Change your angle of view
Picking a single flower creates a much cleaner composition than trying to photograph a bunch. Move around your subject, trying both low and high camera angles until you find a clean background that makes your subject stand out.
Use a slower shutter speed
When backgrounds behind sporting subjects are leading the eye away from your main focal point, select a slower shutter speed and pan. Done well, this will blur only the background.
Use a wider aperture
Shooting with an aperture that’s too narrow means that more of the background behind your subject will be in focus – and therefore more distracting. Choose a wider aperture (around f/2.5 to f/4) to create a shallower depth of field.
This will knock the background out of focus and isolate your subject in the frame, making it ‘pop’. See below for how to use your DSLR’s Aperture Priority (Av) shooting mode.
How to use the Av and Tv modes
Learn to take control of your digital SLR and set your aperture and shutter speed using the Av and Tv modes to avoid capturing any clutter in your backgrounds. Here’s how it’s done…
1 Break away from Program
It’s a good starting point, but the camera will set both aperture and shutter speed as it sees fit.
2 Control your apertures
Use the Av (Aperture Priority) mode so you control the aperture – your camera will set the shutter speed.
3 Control your shutter speeds
Use the Tv (Shutter Priority) mode so you control the shutter speed – your camera will set the aperture.
PAGE 1 – Fixing Bad Pictures: Why are all my photos blown out?
PAGE 2 – Fixing Bad Pictures: Why do my landscape photos look so flat?
PAGE 3 – Fixing Bad Pictures: Why do my skies look white and washed out?
PAGE 4 – Fixing Bad Pictures: Why are my photos blurry and out of focus?
PAGE 5 – Fixing Bad Pictures: how do I focus on moving targets?
PAGE 6 – Fixing Bad Pictures: why do my photos look so cluttered?
PAGE 7 – Fixing Bad Pictures: why do my photos lack impact?
PAGE 8 – Fixing Bad Pictures: why do my action shots look boring?
PAGE 9 – Fixing Bad Pictures: Why do my colours look all wrong?