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Beginning Photography Tip #4:
Be Selective

Still Life Photography Tip #4: Focusing in on one suggestive detail
Detail Photo of French Breakfast
© Jim Miotke 2005
All Rights Reserved

Discern what you are really interested in and center your efforts on getting the best photo of this subject, whether it a still life, your funny cat, your doggy, a friend, a family matter, a mood, a place or culture.

Then be sure to keep anything that would distract out of the picture. Go as far as Ansel Adams did to remove unwanted elements.

The easiest way to do this is to watch your borders - the edges of the view you see through the camera's viewfinder. Then recompose if anything - such as an unattractive telephone wire, an old soda can, a distracting sign, your finger, or your camera strap - hangs into your picture.

It can become more difficult if you want to, say, shoot a San Francisco cable car without a single distracting telephone line. But even in such a difficult case, you have many options.

You can:
  • Focus in on a close-up that tells the whole story;
  • Move around until you arrange the telephone lines into a neat pattern that leads to the subject; or
  • Take a panning shot that makes the cable car remain in focus while the background goes blurry.
Panning Shot of a Bicycle Racer
Panning Shot of a Bicycle Racer
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© Jim Miotke 2005
All Rights Reserved
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