The Original Photograph
This photograph was sent in by Smart member Jeremy.
The image has a lot of potential and he has captured a great moment between the couple as they relax in the sun.
However, by utilizing a few quick tricks we believe this image could of been dramatically improved.
Distractions, Distractions, Distractions
Distractions are sometimes hard to avoid but can usually be resolved with the choice of lens.
Jeremy chose to shoot this image with a wide angle 24mm.
Whilst this is a great lens for including lots of background details was it necessary here?
We understand that perhaps he wanted to show the couple in the context of the lake but is the background that interesting?
Does it add or distract from the image?
The red circles on the image indicate areas that I found distracting.
Some of these can be quickly erased using the clone tool in photoshop but others would require much more work.
It is best practice to shoot without distractions in the first place to avoid hours in photoshop at a later date.
Rule of Thirds and Straightening Up
I also noticed that the photo wasn’t quite straight.
You can see that the building on the left and the chimney on the right don’t quite appear straight compared to the red lines.
He has done a good job of placing the couple on one of the Rule of Thirds lines but this could be improved with a tighter crop.
A Tighter Crop
So I went ahead and straightened the image.
Removed some of the smaller distractions.
And placed the subject of the image (the couple) precisely on the Rule of Thirds line.
Straight away the image appears a little more professional and more visually appealing.
An Even Tighter Crop
We could however take our cropping even further.
That’s exactly what I have done above.
Now you can really see that the couple are smiling.
If you look below you will also see the the couple are now placed on the intersection of two Rule of Thirds lines.
Another way to reduce the amount of distractions in your photos is to convert them to black and white.
Because there are no colours within the image to distract, the viewer is forced to focus on the emotion.
A Super Tight Crop
This is an extreme example and generally we wouldn’t recommend cropping this much.
It is more of something to think about when you are actually taking the photos.
What if Jeremy had used a 200mm zoom lens?
He could of taken the photo above and avoided all of those unnecessary distractions.
To us this is a much cleaner and considered image.
It shows the couple are on a lake whilst also demonstrating the emotion between the two of them.