There’s nothing worse than spoiling a beautiful scene by composing your subject too small in the frame. In this quick tutorial we’ll show you how to compose images for maximum impact by avoiding unnecessary surroundings that don’t add to your shot.
All words and images by Mark Hamblin
Our eyes and brain have the unique ability to hone in on small details in a scene and disregard the boring stuff.
Unfortunately, we often do the same thing when taking pictures, which means that we end up with shots where the main interest is too small in the frame and loses impact.
What appeared to be an exciting subject at the time of taking the shot turns out to be entirely insignificant when surrounded by uninteresting surrounds that don’t add anything to the final image. So get in closer – and cut out the boring stuff for good!
How to compose images for maximum impact
It sounds so obvious that you wonder why you didn’t do it at the time, but it’s surprising how many people opt to shoot from the easiest vantage point. Make the effort to get closer to your subject to cut out the dross and add greater impact to your shots.
Fit a longer lens
If you have a longer focal length lens in your kit bag, change lenses. Going in close with a telephoto will allow you to frame the most interesting part of the scene and exclude the bits that don’t add to the shot. This creates a much tighter composition that holds the viewer’s attention.
Crop in Photoshop
Sometimes you only realise that you should have gone in closer once you view the picture back at home. But all is not lost, because it’s easy to crop the picture in Photoshop. Today’s cameras have high-resolution sensors, so you can crop by 50% or more and still get great results when you come to print.
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