Photo tip: fill the frame
This is a series of photography tips that I am introducing weekly on my photo blog to help you with a new focused tip to work to master your camera and photography. Today our focus is on filling up the frame which basically means to either zoom in tight to your subject or move your camera closer to your subject and target the most important aspect of the shoot that you want to have sharp and detailed.
Filling up the frame forces you to keep your background simple and clean. Getting in closer to your subject eliminates distracting elements and cluttered backgrounds that detract from the imagery. Choose backgrounds that are soft or slightly out of focus to make the viewer focus directly on the foreground and subject being presented.
Getting in closer to your subject allows for you to see more details and emphasize any mood, characteristic or emotion that your subject might be exposing at a particular time frame. This adds to a viewers interest in the subject when you can zoom in and add something unique about your subject that tells us a little more about who they are or what you want to emphasize about your subject.
When you zoom into your subject, this gives the observer a more focused view to look at all the details and close up imagery that hopefully connects us to your subject. Emphasizing crisp details, make sure that you focus exactly on the areas that you want to be sharp in your presentation, this can be done manually or you can make changes to your camera settings to place the focus on certain areas of the viewfinder that will allow for selective focus. Automatic settings to focus tend to have a general focus within your composition and sharpness is concentrated on the areas of first contact – keep readjusting your focus if it does not work correctly to what you want. Also, experiment with selective or manual focus to learn and see how your camera reacts to these settings and how they affect your composition.
Keep practicing and training your eye on what you want to emphasize and highlight in your compositions – sometimes you want to show more or less depending on the subject, mood, foreground and backgrounds. As you fill in your frame, think about what is it that you want to share with your viewers and if this tells us enough or create a story that keeps us engaged with the subject. This is a technique of filling up the frame is effective to use for portraiture, wildlife or animals or any subject that you portray better in a macro composition.
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