By Jim Zuckerman
Backgrounds are more important than many photographers realize. Distracting elements, unwanted highlights, and bold lines that are not part of the subject will pull our attention away from the important part of a photo.
For example, look at the two shots I did in India. The first one shows a sunny highlight on the plant at the left. This isn’t terrible, but it’s definitely not ideal. By changing my shooting position in the second photo, I eliminated the highlight and now nothing in the background detracts from the subject. Sometimes all it takes is a small movement to get rid of undesirable elements behind a subject, and that can make or break a picture. In my Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography course here at Betterphoto, I have one entire lesson devoted just to backgrounds because I feel that they impact a picture so much. By paying attention to what is behind your subject, your photography will take a quantum leap forward in professionalism and artistry.