Keep back­drops clean

Digital Camera World - - 10 GOLDEN RULES OF SUMMER -

A wide aperture to big up the bokeh is not enough if you want to be rid of all dis­trac­tions Keep an eye on what is go­ing on in the back­ground. It is easy to con­cen­trate on the sub­ject of your shot, and not re­alise that there is some­thing be­hind it that is ru­in­ing what you thought was a per­fectly com­posed scene.

With their longer-than-ever fo­cal lengths and su­per­wide max­i­mum aper­tures, mod­ern lenses have helped make blurred ‘bokeh’ back­grounds very pop­u­lar with pho­tog­ra­phers – but lim­it­ing depth of field is not al­ways enough. A blurred tourist wear­ing a pur­ple cagoule will still pro­vide a nasty back­ground dis­trac­tion, even if you use f/1.4 with your beau­ti­ful 85mm prime; and that branch stick­ing out of the king­fisher’s head will haunt you in your oth­er­wise per­fect shot, even if you did shoot it wide-open with the big end of a 150-600mm zoom.

With a DSLR the eye­piece doesn’t pre­view the blur for you, so you need to com­pose in Live View, or shoot an image and check it on-screen. With CSCs, you get a more ac­cu­rate viewfinder pre­view. But ei­ther way, scour the back­ground care­fully, and ad­just your cam­era po­si­tion if you need to en­sure the back­drop is clean: a slight change in cam­era an­gle is of­ten all you need.

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