When taking images of wildlife or people, there is nothing worse than a distracting background. It basically takes the viewer’s eyes away from the subject you are wanting to portray. I’ve heard some photographers say “I’ll fix it in Photoshop”, but my theory has always been to get it right in camera first, so you end up with more time out in nature with your camera and less time on the computer!
#1 Beware of Trees and Poles
One of the most common mistakes I see when reviewing images taken by my photo workshop and tour participants, is seeing trees or telegraph poles sticking out the back of animal’s heads! Often photographers are so absorbed in what they are focusing on (literally) that they completely miss the background!
#2 Man-made Objects
When you are out in nature photographing wildlife, be careful not to accidentally include man-made structures such as posts, fences or buildings end up in your shot. It’s certainly more appealing to have a native animal ‘in the wild’ then to have mad-made subjects in the background.
#3 Photographing Through Wire at a Zoo or Wildlife Park
Zoos and wildlife parks can be great places to practice your wildlife photography. The only problem is that in some cases, you will have wire between you and your subject. Many photographers aren’t aware that if you go right up to the wire and focus ‘through’ it and onto your subject, you can completely blur out the wire.
#4 Blurring Out Your Background
It’s not always possible to get rid of distracting subjects in the background (difficult access, for example). In this case, you may want to use a wide aperture as this has the effect of completely blurring the background. This is especially so if the subject is near you and the background distraction is far away.
#5 Choose Your Spot
Often, it’s simply a matter of moving around until you get the best possible background. If I see a bird perched on a branch and there is a distraction in the background, I’ll usually move around until I find a clear background.
If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.