It is not a secret that I love to take photos, and it is safe to say that the shots I take mean a lot to me. With that in mind it was always a bit of a let down when I would rush a shot and not check carefully before pressing the shutter.
It is a frustrating aspect that sometimes through not paying close attention to the edges of our view we can often capture unwanted elements that can wreck a photo. Simply taking an extra 5 seconds before taking the shot can literally mean the difference between a usable shot and having a big pink blob in shot.
The image below is one that haunts me. I saw the beautifully bright yellow boat and the muted pastel colours of the town and was so excited I rushed the shot. As a consequence I have an image that at first glance is ok, until you really look and see that I have cut the top of the tower off completely. One step backwards and I would have had it but I didn’t check, I just clicked. Of course I have now tried to turn this to the positive saying that I need to go back to Cinque Terre in Italy to retake the shot but seriously, would have been easier to get it right the first time.
The other factor to consider is not only what is around the edges, or not there, but also what is in the image that can be moved to avoid having to take an image into photoshop to fix things.
The above image has a bright blue object behind the model’s head. If I had moved her 1 step to her right I could have tucked that blue spot behind her. As it was I had to pull out a bit of post processing to get rid of the distraction. I would prefer not to have to for shots like this. Bottom line – I just wasn’t careful enough.
So the moral of the story – before you press that shutter, take a second. Really look around the edges of your image. Can you remove something distracting or add a necessary element just by changing your zoom or stepping sideways? Is everything in the shot needed to tell the story? That extra time will make a world of difference in your shots.