Monday, September 1, 2008

Instructor's Tip: Small Shift = Big Difference

Enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by award winning nature photographer Russ Burden:

Small Shift = Big Difference
Clean backgrounds are VERY important. I make mention of it many times on my photo tours. Regardless of the size or type of subject, often a small shift in the camera position can make or break a photo regarding the background.

The two images that accompany this article highlight the black swallowtail butterfly. In the first, there is a dark area in the top left corner that is a distraction as it breaks up the smoothness of the out of focus green foliage that creates the background. What’s causing it is a shadow from a bush. In the second image, I moved no more than three inches to my left so that the entire background would be uniform. The antenna on the butterfly are now more prominent and there is no tonality difference in the green area pulling the viewer’s eye away from the subject. I patiently waited for it to move and when it did, I created the image.


The photo(s) in this post were taken by Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured this image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

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