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Far and away the best photo tip I’ve received to date has been…
“Capture an image with a sharp foreground and the rest will follow.”
What does that mean and why is it so significant?
It means display something in the foreground of your photo that is in sharp focus and the other elements in the mid or background will lend itself well to the scene as a whole whether in soft or sharp focus. By default the human brain strives to find something to focus on and make sense of… a means to put order to the chaos of our surroundings if you will. You can think of this focal point as an anchor. Having an anchor of focus to the scene you photograph is extremely important. In fact I bet most of you don’t even realize you’re looking for a visual anchor when viewing an image. This behavior is an unconscious one, but a very important behavior to exploit in ones photography.
Once you recognize and harness this human behavior you begin to look at photography a little differently. As you line up subjects to photograph you begin to think in terms of what element of your image will be the subject, how to capture it sharply, and how much of the surroundings should then be in focus to accentuate your subject. This later point is a key component to the subject of my next post on understanding depth of field.
Until then… What has been the best photo tip you’ve received to date?
This post was written by Jim M. Goldstein. Jim’s landscape, nature, travel and photojournalism photography is featured on his web site JMG-Galleries.com, and blog. In addition Jim’s podcast “EXIF and Beyond” features photographer interviews and chronicles the creation of some of his images.