The all important background

What is the secret to interesting, intriguing and captivating photographs? It starts with the background.

Interesting subjects are important of course but its the non subject area that surround the main subject that creates intrigue and interest.

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I was reading the classic drawing book “Drawing on the right side of the brain” by Betty Edward’s recently and one chapter made the point of creating interesting background for your artwork.

Its the areas around your drawing that add a lot of interest to it. Same is true of photography. A interesting, texture background can take an otherwise dull image and make it spectacular.

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Great portrait photographers, wedding photographer and even still life photographers know they should seek out interesting background first and then position their subjects in these places.

This is also one of the reasons professional photographers are willing to spend so much money on quality glass, its not to get a more focused image. Any lens is capable of focusing on a single plane but all lenses handle the 90% of the image that is out of focus differently. Pros are winning to play for lenses that produce beautiful boken or pleasing out of focus areas which make up the background of an image.
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Next time you are looking to improve your photography, focus your attention more on the background and less on the subject. Place your subject in a more interesting setting and you’ll achieve a more interesting photograph.

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What’s often overlooked is the background, lurking and sometimes overpowering our subjects and all the care we put into photographing them.

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