Focus On The Edge Of The Frame.

Before you hit the shutter button, take the time to check the edge of the frame.

08/11/2013 - 00:00

The digital age has made it easier and quicker for photographers to take their images. However, a downfall to this is that some just click the shutter, rapidly firing without thinking too much about composition or checking the frame.

It doesn't matter if you're shooting a landscape or are down by the track, looking at the edges of the frame is an important task that should be done for all shots. Distracting objects that creep in at the edge of the frame include tree branches in landscapes and high-visibility vests worn by officials in shots taken at races. 

The easiest way to remove the distraction is to adjust the focal length if you're using a zoom lens or simply adjust your position when shooting with primes. You can also blur foreground detail by changing apertures and this is something we'll look at further down the page. 

As well as checking for what's there, it's also important to make sure nothing is missing. What we mean by this is that the tail of a lion isn't clipped in a shot you've taken at the zoo or that you've cropped someone's fingers in a portrait shot. Cropping an image so your subject's hand appears at the bottom or the side of the frame can look a little odd, too, as the hand can look a little alien. However, by zooming out a little this is easily rectified. 

Church

In the above shot, the branches to the left and the stone in the bottom-right are distracting so a tighter framing was achieved by zooming in more to remove both factors. Other adjustments were also made to tweak the exposure during post production. The shot after editing can be seen here:


Church

There are situations where branches and other objects creeping into the frame can be used to add interest and direct the eye through the shot. For example, when shooting outdoor portraits blurring foliage into an out of focus frame will stop the branch distracting the viewer and can help frame their face.

If you don't find distracting objects at the edge of the frame until you're back home, you can use the Crop tool to remove problematic areas but do remember that this will reduce the image's size. Taking care to check the frame at the time of shooting will ensure all pixels are saved, resulting in better image quality. 

Another option you have is to add a vignette to your shot. Some Pentax cameras allow you to do this in-camera with some of the built-in effects they feature but they are also easily created in editing software. A dark vignette gradually darkens the image towards the edges of the frame 'hiding' edge of frame distractions as a result. Care needs to be taken why applying vignettes so they don't appear too solid as they can become distracting when not applied correctly.  For more tips on creating vignettes, have a read of this article: Four Ways To Create A Vignette In Photoshop



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walkeja

Link Posted 20/11/2013 - 14:24
The finished photo lacks foreground interest, and there is not a point of interest!
Pentax K1-ii and MZ6
Pentax Lenses 28-80 F, 300 DA*, 80-200 F, 35 F2.4 AL, M50 F1.7, 28-105 DFA, 20 F4 SMC
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