Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Background “Manipulation”

We are sometimes overwhelmed with the subject at hand that we totally ignore all the other elements that contribute to the success of the image. The one element the gets ignored the most is the Background and the effect this have on the final image.

Changing your perspective to find the best suitable background might not always be an option, but one that could have a dramatic effect on the image. Before depressing the shutter release button, look at all possible background options available. Even better - while approaching the subject scan around to find the best suitable background that will complement the image you envisioned.

Moving right or left and even up or down the background may change and create a totally different image with a new perspective.

Swainson's Spurfowl
(Pternistis swainsonii)

The Swainson's Spurfowl provide me with the ideal opportunity to explore the different backgrounds available. After shooting the first couple of images I decided to change my position relative to the Swainson's Spurfowl and the backgrounds available to me.

You might not always be able to change your perspective, but with a willing subject, and the availability of different backgrounds it is always worth capitalising on the different effects the scene provides.

The images of the Swainson's Spurfowl were taken on the same day and the same perch, all I had to do was to move right and left to change my perspective and capitalise on the variety of backgrounds available.

Rufous-naped Lark
(Mirafra africana)

The two Rufous-naped Lark images above are almost identical with the exception of the background. In order to change the background I raised the DSLR system approximately 150mm by adding beanbags. With this change in height the background also changes due to the change in angle.

When designing the image, always look at all the elements that ensure the success of the image.

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