Isolating Your Subject

Isolating the Subject

Isolating the Subject

There’s a serious problem that plagues many photos — clutter. Think of a messy home with toys, newspapers, socks, pizza boxes, and whatever else that makes it a mess in your photo. It’s not a pretty picture, is it? How can you take a strong photo without having the viewer focus on every little nuance? Isolate your subject.

Well, how does one go about isolating a subject? It’s really quite simple though there are many ways to go about doing this. First and quite possibly the easiest way is to reposition the camera so that the clutter is out of the background. It’s amazing how many people will remain stationary and keep the camera at the same altitude as their eye level (or in many cases with digital cameras, at about chin level and a foot or two away from the face). By simply moving a foot or two or even a matter of an inch, a whole new composition can open up.

However, there are times when this is not feasible. For such photographers specializing in wedding, sports or events, they don’t often have the luxury of moving since they are at the “here and now” mode and must rely on their lens to make the difference.

This is where you’d need to know a little more than basic point-and-shoot allows. You need to open the f/stop wide open to have a shallow depth of field. If your fastest lens is an f/2.8, then shoot at that fastest stop. My fastest lens is an f/1.8 and it does a great job of blurring the background so the focus is on the subject I am isolating. Anything that is in the background then becomes severely blurred and often times, you can have beautiful bokeh rings.

But, not everyone has the luxury of a digital SLR system with interchangable lens. For those of you that fit in this category, you may have a setting on your camera that resembles a tulip flower. This setting is called “macro” or “micro” because it allows the camera’s lens to get closer to the subject and remain in focus. Use this setting and get closer to your subject to isolate it properly. Move the subject as far away as you can from the background to get that beautiful background blur.

I hope you get great results! Have fun making and creating new memories in the New Year.

To see this and more of my portraiture photos, please visit Memories by Duskin.

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Published in: on December 29, 2008 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  

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