Are you entering portraits, perhaps of people photographed outdoors? One of the most common faults in portraiture is having a tree in the background appear to be growing out of someone’s head!
Sometimes we’re so focused on our subject we don’t see trees, signs or rubbish bins in the background. The best way to solve this problem is to be aware of it before you take the photograph. Place your subject or move yourself so that when you hold the camera up to your eye, there isn’t a tree in the wrong place in the background.
If you have no choice about where your subject is situated or where you can stand, try to use a longer lens so you can isolate your subject and exclude the background, or use a wide aperture (small f-number) to throw the background out of focus.
If you have already taken the photograph, can you fix up the tree or the background using Photoshop or Lightroom? Can you cut and paste some nearby background elements on top, or lighten or darken the tree so it’s not so distracting?
The 2016 Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year Award is now on! Entries close on 7 September (late entries possible until 15 September) and first prize is a cool $5000 cash. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be handed out and every entry will receive a short comment or suggestion from the judging panel. For more information, visit www.betterphotographyphotocomp.com.