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Isolate Your Background

In photography there are many ways in which you can capture your images and none is better than the other, each just highlights an effect and also gives a certain mood to the picture. In landscapes we tend to want the beginning, the middle and the end in focus, although there are exceptions to this. I’m speaking in general terms.With the entire landscape in focus we can be drawn into the picture.

Another way to capture images is to isolate the subject from the background. There are several ways in which you can do this. One is to make sure you have a clean background and if you do that, take your picture with a narrow depth of field. Sometimes you can include both in the same shot. This can be seen in the shot of the Orxy below. Here we have a clean background. There is nothing behind it, just a nice clean background.I’ve taken the shot at F2.8 and this is a very narrow depth field.This is a stunning animal in Africa and the markings on it .Once again you are drawn to the image.

The African Horn bill perched on the small log with the awesome light on it, stands out with the background being isolated.This was taken on F5.6.The soft golden light adds to the picture as well.

The zebra foal’s background is not totally clean but through choosing a narrow  depth of field by choosing the right aperture we can still create a sense of isolation from the background so we can be drawn to it.

Making sure I focused on the eyes of the monkey and shooting at f5.6 I can still create that isolating from the background.

The Pied Kingfisher is one of my favorite birds in Africa. I love their speed, their color and when perched, I think they make prefect subjects to photograph as they provide so many wonderful moments. When perched they really stand out when you are able to have that isolation in your picture. I never get tired of seeing this wonderful bird. This was taken on f5.6 on Canon’s 100-400f5.6 mark 2 lens.


Vicki’s robin is a another great example where she has a nice clean background isolating the Red Robin and in this case, the aperture is not as crucial as she has nothing behind that could be distracting.

We hope through the  examples of the pictures shown that you will get a good understanding of how effective it can be when you isolate the background. The subject just pops a little more and your attention is drawn to it.The next time you are out and about with the camera, see if you can capture subject where you have been able to isolate the subject from the background. 🙂

Pete Dobré

Author Pete Dobré

Pete's photography is self taught. As a young child photography was an interest. His passion for the varying landscapes of Oz comes from frequent visits as a youngster, to his Gandparent's sheep farm in Barmera, a small country town in South Australia. Pete Dobré is a Freelance Photographer who blazes the trail for 6 months each year, capturing awe-inspiring images. Pete's work expresses his creative flair, emotions and love for the natural scapes of Australia. He remembers the hot day when he was 8, leaving town for the farm. His parents had an old car. Within about 2 kilometres of reaching the farm gate, they were bogged on a small red sand dune. The flies were buzzing continuously and the heat was beating down. Sticks, leaves and branches were wedged under the back tyres, to get the car moving. His mum was in a panic but Pete thought that it was exciting. From that moment he knew that he loved being out in creation, with the sense of adventure in the wild. This is where Pete's passion began. Photography for Pete is an expressive means for visual communication. He says, 'There is never a boring moment in my work. There is always something to photograph and I love being creative. The only limit to creativity is a lack of creativity.' Pete's aim as a photographer is to present images that provoke and stimulate the mind, to capture God's awesome creation and to share this with others. If Pete can do a little justice to God's creativity, then he is quietly satisfied. As a photographer Pete's inspiration and passion for his work comes from knowing God who created everything in the beginning. Knowing God, the Creator gives more substance and meaning to what he captures on film. Pete sees his role as freezing a moment in time and history which will never be repeated exactly the same again. The light, clouds and seasons will always be different. Pete's love for natural conditions at different times of the day, displaying varying moods and cloud formations makes his work very special and eye catching.

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