On my latest Photo Present walk I decided to take a few images of a Cemetery Cross to illustrate a tip regarding reframing your photography when you shoot.
I purposely choose to do this in the harsh mid-day sunlight to emphasise my point.
Here is the standard photography most people would take of this particular grave.
Personally I think this is a pretty boring photograph. Whilst it high-lights the grave, there is far too many distracting elements in the photograph as well as the gravestone being stuck smack in the centre, ugly ugly boring photography.
We need to capture the intensity of this scene by reframing the photography. You know… move to the right or the left, bend down and see how you can have the background subjects blend in better with the main foreground subject.
Ok, thats a bit better, but there is still too many unwanted elements distracting from the main subject. Let’s zoom in and crop the main subject much tighter. This will really make it the focal point of the image, zooming will blur the background to remove some of those distracting elements like the black silhouetted pine tree.
So here is the final image I took. I have placed the foreground subject to the left utilising the ‘Rule Of Thirds’. The background gravestones are nicely blurred and therefore less visually distracting and the worst of the tree silhouettes are removed.
The reframing and subsequent photos took about 15 seconds and just a little bit of previewing through the viewfinder, I think you will agree the photograph has much more visual impact than the first boring image.
There is still a bit of distraction which I can correct in Adobe’s Lightroom.
I’ll crop the image just slightly…
Rotate a fraction to vertically align the cross…
Use the Spot Tool to remove the unwanted bush at bottom right…
Finally adjusting with the Radial Filter – lowering the exposure and un-ticking the “Invert Mask” – this decreases the exposure of everything excepting the foreground cross to really make the main subject POP.
I think you will agree this is a much more dynamic and visually appealing photograph, that keeps drawing your attention back to the foreground subject.
Your eyes will wander around the image, checking out the three gravestones in the background and the light-play between the blurry tree silhouettes and the blue sky. However your eyes will keep returning to the foreground cross because that is the way our brains are wired, except for us Aspies of course!
Here is another photograph of a cross in the cemetery that further illustrates the points made above. You cannot always take the image exactly as you would prefer. There were distracting elements in the background (left and right) so the white celtic cross is closer to the foreground cross than I would have preferred, however it still makes a great photo (if you like celtic crosses in cemeteries as I do).