3 Easy Tips for Photographing Details in a Scene

The post 3 Easy Tips for Photographing Details in a Scene appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Lily Sawyer.

Regardless of the type of event I photograph, I ALWAYS photograph details. Why? Because details help tell the story of an event that nothing else can. Details aid the recollection of memories: words and conversations, scents and aromas, spoken and unspoken emotions. Details also help cement these memories in our brains.


Newborns grow so fast and often parents are exhausted beyond belief. Photographing details helps them remember the sweet moments, especially of those first days. The first tuft of hair, the tiniest fingers, milk spots, windy smiles, hospital tags, first baby hats, and mittens. Captured in details, these moments can be cherished more often and for much longer.

Wedding days go in a total haze for many a couple. All the weeks and hours they have put into planning the decorations and color scheme down to the minutest detail and they don’t even have a moment to fully appreciate them on the wedding day. I carve out time to capture hundreds of detail photos during a wedding. They are just as important as all the other photojournalistic and documentary captures of people and events unfolding on the day.


You don’t need to have an expensive kit to take some good, solid photos. All the photos in this article were intentional snapshots taken during a day trip with me as a tourist. No flashes, just a camera, a 60mm fixed lens and an observant eye looking for details.

Here are 3 tips I find helpful when photographing details:

1. Storytelling

Photographs are no doubt one of the most visually exciting ways to tell a story, so tell it well using photographs of details.

Let’s consider the five elements of a story to help us communicate it effectively: setting, characters, plot, conflict, resolution.

Below is a series of photographs I shot with intent to tell a simple short story (real captures and not staged) with the above elements in mind.





Characters and Plot




This is just a simplistic way of showing you how a story can be captured beautifully in details. The setting is in Copenhagen on a soaking wet and cold day. It had been heavily raining for a good while. Droplets have collected on the bridge adorned with love locks. It’s summer (as seen on the date in the newspaper), and the map is sodden. Somewhere nice and cozy to dry off and relax would be welcome. A girl wrapped in a thick blanket browses the menu. Hot cocoas put a big smile on the children’s faces. It’s a happy summer once again.

2. Composition

a. Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is probably the most well-known and popular composition techniques. It is also my favourite and the easiest that comes to me. The frame is divided into thirds horizontally and vertically. Where the sections intersect are the strongest points where your main image or interest in the image should be placed.


This is illustrated above left where the yellow building occupies two-thirds of the space and one third on the left is the overcast sky. In the above right image, the two buildings intersect on a third of the frame. The point of the small tower is positioned about a third from the bottom of the image and a third from the left.

Plain snapshots like these look stronger with this rule of thirds composition.


Can you see how these two images above use the rule of thirds composition?

b. Symmetry/centred

Another favorite of mine is symmetry; where the main point of interest in the image is placed at the center of the frame. A central composition accentuates the importance of the subject and emphasizes its superiority.


The image above shows the fish at the center and two symmetrical areas on either side of it. More symmetry – the tables and chairs and the windows on either side – strengthens this image further. You can feel the solidity of the structure because of the centered composition.

c. Fill the Frame

As with the above, filling the frame strengthens composition and makes the viewer focus intensely on the subject without unnecessary distractions. The viewer can explore details that otherwise would be lost had the image not filled the frame and cropped distractions. Filling the frame is an effective way of highlighting a point of interest and telling its story from much closer.


d. Depth and foreground interest

Photographs are two dimensional in nature. Many images only show the subject and background. Including foreground adds a third dimension to the space. It increases its depth and makes the viewer feel as if they are on the outside looking in. I use this technique for anything and everything: portraits, objects, or action.

A foreground interest also invites the viewer to explore other elements in the image and look deeper into the other areas of the frame, not just first thing that meets their eye. Because you are inviting the viewer’s eye to move around the image, you make your image more dynamic.


3. Angles

Change your point of view

We see virtually everything at eye level. We often walk around with our faces looking forward not upwards, downwards or sideways. So whenever we change our point of view into a bird’s eye view or worm’s eye view or perspective, we find ourselves seeing new interesting things in common and familiar objects. It’s something I always try to remind myself when shooting: look up, look down, look right, and look left.

In the image below, you can see I’ve also combined this bird’s eye view with the symmetrical composition and the rule of thirds.


Perspective and leading lines

Something as mundane as a bird on a bench can be captured with a touch more interest by moving a few steps sideways and photographing it from a perspective viewpoint. Doing this is making use of the line of the bench to lead the viewer’s eye to the bird – the focal point of the image.

I didn’t want to get too close lest I scared it away. It caught my eye because I thought it was a crow. Then I noticed it was wearing some white feathers like a cardigan on its black body. Look out for leading lines, whether they be straight like benches, rails and fences, or curvy like windy paths, a stream of water or patterned tiles on pavements.



I find photographing details exciting, mentally challenging, and thoroughly enjoyable. It keeps me on my toes, especially when I try to tell a story. I feel a sense of achievement when I’m happy with the results. I hope you try it sometime if you haven’t yet.

If you have any tips for photographing details, do share them in the comments below.



The post 3 Easy Tips for Photographing Details in a Scene appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Lily Sawyer.

How to Choose the Right Computer for Photo Editing

The post How to Choose the Right Computer for Photo Editing appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.

How to Choose the Right Computer for Photo Editing

Buying a new computer can be a minefield. There are so many models to choose from with wildly varying budgets. How do you get the best performance for your budget? Where should you invest your cash (and where can you save)?

This article is straight forward, jargon-free advice on what to think about when buying a computer for photo editing. If you are looking for an in-depth analysis, you are in the wrong place. If you are looking to upgrade your current computer, but are unsure of how to spend your cash wisely, then this article will be a great starting point.

Mac vs. PC

I didn’t want to open this up with something that can descend into arguments. Instead, I thought I’d start with the one topic that everyone can agree on (or not) – Mac vs. PC. Seriously though, I thought it best to get this out of the way first. I’m a Mac guy. I have been for years. I am heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem, and it works best for me.

However, I will put it on record (and be held to it from this day forward), there is very little difference between Mac and PC. Software in the modern world is platform agnostic and very few programs are Mac-only or PC-only. The price difference is not always as large as people make out, and you will generally be invested in one platform or the other already.

I know there is the old argument that most creatives use Macs over PC, but this is outdated and not strictly true. My personal theory is that Mac products tend to look better (thanks to Johnny Ive) and creative people tend to like to surround themselves with beautiful objects. If you go into a high-end design office, Macs tend to fit with the aesthetic better, hence why we see more Macs in these situations.

Both platforms have their quirks. Both are capable of great results. With a similar spec and finish, there will be a similar price involved.

I am sure there will be some discussion in the comments about this, but I really want to leave this argument here. It is boring, and nobody will ever win. We are on the Internet, after all.


Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, the monitor stand costs more than most monitors. But if these are things you are worried about, this machine (the Mac Pro) is not for you.

Monitor first

Before you begin to look for a computer, invest in a monitor – and for goodness sake, calibrate it. As photographers, we concern ourselves with the best image quality we can achieve. If you are editing the image on a screen with a limited color range and that is way too bright, you will tend to be disappointed when you print your images. They simply will not match what you see on the screen. When looking for a new computer, it is easy get carried away in what processor to go for, or whether we should invest in a larger hard drive. But, surprisingly, a monitor can be, in many cases, an afterthought. It shouldn’t be.

When looking to buy a monitor, you should really aim for one with a wide color gamut and if you can afford it, go for an IPS panel.

Lastly, in terms of resolution, a 4K screen is great but comes with a higher price tag. My advice is color over resolution. 4k is nice, but it is not anywhere near as important as color consistency. I edit on a 2560 x 1440 monitor as when I was looking I could not get the consistency of color I wanted within budget in a 4K screen. I have never wished for more resolution yet.

Image: A high-quality monitor, correctly calibrated, will have the biggest impact on your images.

A high-quality monitor, correctly calibrated, will have the biggest impact on your images.

Laptop or Desktop

This is something that depends on your situation. Modern laptops are hugely powerful. The main thing that holds them back is the graphics card. However, with the rise of the external graphics card, this is starting to be negated.

Obviously, the benefit of a laptop is portability. Traveling with your laptop is great as you can edit whilst out and about. You can also get the images off your memory cards (always back them up before you format the card though). For me, as a wedding photographer, being able to import images into the computer whilst I get a break saves me time when I get home. I can also create a preview for the couple on the day of the wedding. This is something that is not possible with a standard PC or iMac. Also, when shooting multi-day music festivals, most outlets require a same-day turnaround of images. In this situation, a laptop is essential.

With modern laptops, the ability to have it transform into your desktop machine has never been easier. I have a 2018 13” MacBook Pro which, with the use of a dock, simply requires me to plug in one cable to connect it to my monitor and external hard drives and charge it. I have a fully-functioning desktop in seconds.

However, this portability comes at a financial cost. You will always pay more for a laptop than a similar specification desktop PC. If you have no need for the mobility advantages of a laptop, you can get a desktop with similar specs for less money.

What you should buy depends on your requirements and your budget. If your budget is small, I would always recommend a desktop PC, as you will get more bang for your buck.


Desktop or laptop? It depends on your needs.


The processor is the brain of your system. When looking at a computer for photo editing, the processor is where you need to be looking to max out as much as your budget can afford. The key thing to look for in processors is the cores. In simple terms, a processor is split into cores. Each core can work on a separate task, so therefore, the more cores you have, the more multi-tasking the computer can do (or the better its ability to split tasks down into smaller parts to complete it quicker).

Ideally, you want to be looking at a quad-core to a six-core processor. A quad-core processor hits this sweet spot of performance to price ratio, but if you can afford to upgrade to a six-core processor, you will see increased performance. After this, unless you are a particularly heavy user, you will see little benefit in more cores.


A processor is where you really need to max out when choosing a new computer.


This is where you may be surprised. If you are using your computer solely for editing photographs and you are not applying several layers and effects in Photoshop, you can easily get away with 8GB of RAM. If you want to push the boat out a little, or are planning on getting a camera with a huge megapixel count, such as the new 64MP Sony, you really need to push this to 16GB.

RAM tends to be one of the cheaper upgrades when configuring a computer. Whilst you may not be needing 16 or 32GB right now, as with all things computer-related, buy the best spec you can afford. This allows you to be happy with your computer for longer. RAM is one of the simple upgrade tasks to do yourself. However, note that in some computers, laptops especially, (yes, I’m looking at you Apple) it is not something that can be done after you have purchased the computer.

Graphics Card

Your graphics card (or GPU) is the thing that fools some people. For photography, you really do not need a hugely powerful graphics card. It is something that has one main purpose, which is running your monitor. Now if you are planning on running a dual monitor 4K setup, then it is worth investing a little in your graphics card, but unless you are planning on doing some hardcore gaming, you will not really notice the benefit of the high-end graphics cards in almost all photo editing situations.

When using certain photo editing tools, the graphics card will speed things up a little, but the price to performance ratio of a higher-end graphics card is not as beneficial as spending the money elsewhere, such as an upgrade to your processor.

Now, if you do video editing as well as photo editing, this is where you will see the benefit from a good quality graphics card. If you are doing any type of motion graphics on your videos, you will see an even bigger boost. This is where graphics cards will make a difference. If you are doing video work (or plan to) then you do need to allow some budget for a dedicated graphics card, or GPU if you are going down the laptop route.

Hard Drive

There are two types of hard drives: Solid State (also known as SSD) and a Hard Disk Drive (known as HDD). They work in different ways, both of which have advantages and disadvantages.

Hard Disk Drives have been around for years. Data is stored on a rotating platter, which is then accessed by a read/write head to access or write the data. Most hard drives spin at 5400 or 7200 rpm. Simply put, the faster the rpm, the faster the drive can read/write data. Because they have been around for so long, the cost is much lower than a Solid State Drive. This makes this type of drive ideal if you are looking for a large amount of storage. It also means computers with HDD drives tend to be cheaper.

Solid State Drives are much newer technology. You will be most used to them as the storage in your phone and tablet. They work via an inbuilt processor called a Controller that performs the tasks of reading and writing data. The better the quality of the Controller, the faster the drive. They are much faster than Hard Disk Drives, but have one major disadvantage – the price.

The cost per gigabyte of storage Is much greater on SSD drives. On average, it is up to five times more expensive. However, that is really the only downside. SSD drives are much faster, less noisy (an SSD drive has no moving parts, unlike an HDD) and generally a little tougher (the head on an HDD does not like being banged about).

How much faster? Well, on an average computer, the start-up time will generally be over four times faster with an SSD. Programs will load much quicker, and the whole experience just feels snappier.

This is one of those speed boosts that you will not necessarily miss until you have used an SSD-based system. Once you have experienced it, I guarantee, you will not want to go back from it. Upgrading to an SSD on your current computer will give you a great upgrade for relatively little money.

I would always recommend an SSD as your main hard drive and then using larger HDD drives for your storage, either internally or externally. This way, you will have the best of both worlds. If you can afford it, I would suggest a 1TB SSD drive, as this means you can keep current work on the SSD drive to feel the benefits. Then your archive can be kept on HDD to access when you need it.

You also need a backup strategy in place. If you haven’t, please do yourself a favor and read up on how to backup your photos. I would hate the thought of any of you crying over lost photos.

Image: Possibly the most boring photo ever put on DPS. Whilst they are not much to look at, an SSD d...

Possibly the most boring photo ever put on DPS. Whilst they are not much to look at, an SSD drive will give you a big speed boost.


I could now list some machines that are currently considered the best for photo editing. If you Google the phrase “best computer for photo editing 2019” you will find several lists. However, I don’t want to do that. Not least because if you are reading this 6 months after I wrote it, it will already be out of date. Instead, I thought I would leave you with the top 6 things to think about when choosing the right computer.

  1. Buy the best processor you can afford. The majority of the work for photo editing relies heavily on the processor. Depending on what machine you buy, RAM is something you can upgrade yourself cheaply in the future. If you can afford 16GB then go for it. Just make sure before you stick at 8GB to save some budget, you can upgrade it later.
  2. Go for an SSD, but don’t go crazy for size. Try to go for a 1TB drive, or if on a tighter budget, a 512GB drive. Then invest in a larger 7200RPM external drive for more space. This way you can get the speed benefits of an SSD for your current editing and keep your work stored on a still fast, but cheaper external drive. And pretty please, with a cherry on top, invest in a backup!
  3. Don’t buy a laptop if you’re not going to use your computer out and about. You can get much better value from a desktop. So, if you only edit at home, get the most power for your money.
  4. Invest in a decent monitor. Then invest in a calibration device. Then invest in your computer. A good, calibrated monitor will not only last you longer, but it will also make your photos look better. Not just to you, but to everyone else as well.
  5. Keep your eyes open for deals. These are usually highest when new models are coming out. If you are happy to invest some time searching, you can find some great bargains.
  6. Lastly, don’t be afraid of secondhand or refurb, especially if you are on a budget. I have purchased most of my equipment refurbished by Apple (and saved a lot of money). You can also save huge amounts of money buying secondhand. You can buy some slightly older equipment that will be perfectly adequate for a fraction of the price. For example, lots of gamers often update their graphics cards. You can then pick it up to boost your computer for a fraction of the retail price. Obviously, this method is not without some risks. However, it is a way to get great value for money if you’re on a tight budget.

Lastly to go back to the start, Mac or PC? It really doesn’t matter! Unless you can afford to buy a Mac. In which case, you should always buy a Mac! (Sorry PC fanboys and girls, I couldn’t resist. I await my roasting in the comments 🙂



The post How to Choose the Right Computer for Photo Editing appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.

DJI has most of the drones on its website listed as ‘out of stock’

A search on DJI’s official online store confirmed that the Mavic 2 Pro is currently out of stock.

DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, is currently out of stock on most of its models including the Mavic 2 Pro and Phantom 4 Pro.

DroneDJ’s Haye Kesteloo recently conducted a thorough search of their official online store and discovered that the only drones available for purchase are the DJI Mavic Air Fly More Combo, in all colors, the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum, the DJI Mavic Pro 2 (with the DJI Smart Controller combo), the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom with or without DJI Smart Controller, the DJI Inspire 2 and the Ryze Tello in all its variations.

It’s been one year since DJI last released a consumer-grade drone to the public. The Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom have been wildly successful, but with DJI’s planned implementation of ADS-B sensors this coming January, not to mention the forthcoming Holiday season, it would make sense for them to halt production on models headed for discontinuation and focus on new releases.

While a Mavic 2 Pro+ and Zoom+ are rumored, specs from what is being coined as the ‘Mavic Mini’ have recently made the rounds online. Reportedly this drone is expected to weigh less than 250 grams, meaning it won’t need to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. As rules and regulations are continually being pushed to allow flights over people and beyond-visual-line-of-sight, a lighter drone makes sense. Other possibilities for a near-future release include a Spark 2 and Mavic Air 2.

Here is the full list of out-of-stock items on DJI’s website, thanks to DroneDJ.

  • DJI Spark Controller Combo – Alpine White
  • DJI Spark Fly More Combo – Alpine White
  • DJI Spark Controller Combo – Lava Red
  • DJI Spark Fly More Combo – Lava Red
  • DJI Mavic Air Arctic White
  • DJI Mavic Air Onyx Black
  • DJI Mavic Air Flame Red
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro & DJI Goggles RE
  • DJI Mavic 2 Zoom & DJI Goggles RE
  • DJI Phantom 4 Advanced
  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 & DJI Goggles RE
  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ V2.0
  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ V2.0 & DJI Goggles RE
  • DJI Inspire 2 Professional
  • DJI Inspire 2 Premium

While some of these items aren’t available through DJI directly, they can still be found through other third-party retailers.

PhotoShelter launches FileFlow, a mobile app that lets clients access delivered content

PhotoShelter has introduced FileFlow, a new iPhone app that makes it easier for photographers and their clients to find, share, and download images.

In its current version, users and their clients can access and browse through shared content, search through image collections and galleries, batch download both original or JPEG versions of images, and directly share content using multiple methods, including email and various social media platforms.

PhotoShelter describes its new app as a way for photographers to access their content using mobile devices and for their clients to access delivered projects on mobile. The company plans to equip FileFlow with support for uploading content and setting permissions for accessing the content.

As well, FileFlow will offer a ‘Quick Send' feature for sending images, plus ‘other actions you would take on your desktop.' Clients will be able to view and download password-protected images, too. Android users will eventually get access to FileFlow, but it is only available on the App Store at this time.

Metabones announces new Hasselblad V to Fujifilm GFX x0.71 Speed Booster

Metabones has announced its new Hasselblad V to Fuji G mount (GFX) x0.71 Speed Booster, the latest in its extensive Speed Booster Ultra 0.71x lineup.

The new Speed Booster, which provides nearly the full angle of view of the original Hasselblad V lens when used on a Fujifilm GFX camera, relies on a six-element design capable of ‘[achieving] excellent optical performance at apertures up to F1.4 when paired with the Hasselblad 110mm F2 lens.’ Metabones says it was able to achieve this performance by analyzing the exit pupil size and location of all Hasselblad V lenses and using the resulting data to develop its new Speed Booster Ultra.

As with Metabones’ other Speed Booster adapters, the Hasselblad V to GFX Speed Booster Ultra accounts for the camera’s filter stack atop the sensor, a key element, especially when using faster lenses with larger apertures.

The adapter features ‘an extremely robust cine-style’ positive locking mechanism to prevent lens movement when focusing as well as a 360-degree rotation collar and Arca Swiss style tripod mounting plate.

The 0.71x Speed Booster Ultra for adapting Hasselblad V lenses to Fuji GFX camera systems will be available starting August 16th, 2019 from Metabones’ website and authorized retailers for $899. The non-Speed Booster version will ship at the same time for $399.

Huawei’s Kirin 990 chipset to support 4K video at 60 fps

There is no doubt recent Huawei high-end devices come with impressive camera specs and performance. However, they lack slightly behind the competition in terms of video frame rate. Both Apple and Samsung devices have been offering a 60 fps frame rate at 4K resolution for quite some time now.

Huawei flagships are still limited to 30 fps when recording at 4K. This has nothing to do with the deployed image sensors but is all down to the chipset which doesn't offer the buffering and/or processing power for the large volumes of data generated during 4K video recording.

Now, this looks to be about to change, though. According to an attendee of last week’s Huawei Developer’s conference in Shenzhen, the Chinese company has confirmed that the upcoming generation of its top-end mobile chipset — likely called Kirin 990 and to be launched at IFA in September — will support 60 fps at 4K resolution.

The Huawei Mate 30 series, expected to be announced on September 19, is likely to be the first models to benefit from the new chipset and its enhanced video recording capabilities. According to rumors, the top-of-the-line device could feature two 40MP Quad-Bayer sensors in a triple-camera setup and a 6.71-inch OLED display with 90Hz refresh rate.

Video: Action and sports photography with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X

In this video we’ve traveled to southern Spain to the town of Sevilla to meet photographer Fernando Marmolejo. We joined Fernando over the course of a few days, as he shot some of his favorite sports with the most advanced Micro Four Thirds camera on the market: the Olympus OM-D EM1X.

Sample gallery

This is sponsored content, created with the support of Amazon and Olympus. What does this mean?

Woodstock photographer shares what it was like to photograph the 1969 music festival

Henry Diltz, official photographer of the Woodstock music festival held in August 1969, has detailed his experience in a new six-minute video produced by Keeper and directed by Scott Hanson. Diltz captured thousands of photos during the three-day festival, which was attended by nearly half a million people.

‘It’s almost every day now, people are asking me to interviews, about Woodstock, to use my photos, and my remembrance of it,’ Diltz says in the new short film. The photographer explains how he landed the job, revealing that he was only able to attend the event thanks to lighting director Chip Monck, who sent Diltz a plane ticket and $500.

Unlike other photographers who attended the music festival, Diltz explains that he was allowed to shoot from a walkway built for the film crew, putting him directly in front of the concert stage. It’s from this position that Diltz was able to capture iconic photos of renowned artists, including one he says he managed to capture with all four members of The Who in the same image, something that was difficult using his widest lens.

Canon May Produce an Unprecedented 50-80mm f/1.1 Lens

The post Canon May Produce an Unprecedented 50-80mm f/1.1 Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Canon May Produce an Unprecedented 50-80mm f/1.1 Lens

Are you a Canon user?

If so, you’ll be happy to know that Canon continues to push the boundaries of camera gear innovation.

Because earlier this month, a Canon patent was published, one that detailed plans for a new lens: a 50-80mm f/1.1 zoom.

Yes, you read that right.

According to the Canon patent, the lens would have a fixed maximum aperture across its entire focal length range, maintaining its f/1.1 maximum aperture from 50mm to 80mm.

A fixed-aperture f/1.1 Canon lens would certainly make waves. None of Canon’s recent lenses have an f/1.1 aperture. The closest lens is the Canon 50mm f/1.2. So this lens will certainly appeal to those who enjoy unique equipment.

The f/1.1 aperture would be ideal for portrait photographers. The wide aperture would allow for stunning background bokeh. And it would also allow for photography in low light, which is perfect for those who shoot indoors or at night.

Plus, the 50-80mm focal length is great for portrait photography of any kind. At 50mm, portrait photographers can get some standard shots. At 80mm, you can go in for a tighter image.

Street photographers will also be a fan of 50-80mm, given how 50mm is often considered the fundamental street photography focal length.

A zoom lens such as this one would likely exist as part of Canon’s RF lineup, which is rumored to expand over the course of the next year.

Note that some patents never actually amount to anything. In other words, just because Canon patents the designs doesn’t mean that they will send the product to market. But it’s interesting to see Canon thinking about such incredible new equipment.

So keep your eyes peeled, Canon users.

And even if the Canon 50-80mm f/1.1 lens is never produced, it’s certainly piqued consumers’ imaginations!

Would you be interested in a lens like this one? What do you like and dislike about it? What would you use it for? Let me know in the comments!

The post Canon May Produce an Unprecedented 50-80mm f/1.1 Lens appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Filling the Frame: 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photos

The post Filling the Frame: 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Anthony Epes.


Successful photographs usually have one thing in common – an obvious point of focus or a subject that is the dominating element.

One of the main reasons a photograph falls flat is because there is no central or main feature to draw in the viewer’s attention.

One very easy way to combat boring, flat photos is to practice the simple idea of filling the frame.

Of course, you might say – I always fill the frame; it’s impossible not to!


With this idea, though, you are working on being a lot more intentional about how you compose.

When we “fill the frame,” we are attempting to make a photo’s intention completely clear. The viewer should have no doubt as to what the photograph is about.

Instead of getting fixated on your subject, and focusing your attention almost totally on that (something I see people doing all the time on my workshops), we are considering every single part of the frame.


We are looking at the corners. This is probably the most common thing many of my students don’t do – look at what’s in their corners.

Often there are things that don’t need to be there which you only realize afterward when studying your images.

We are considering what is running alongside the edges. What’s poking in that shouldn’t be there? It’s amazing how a stray branch or a bit of litter can make its way into your image without you noticing.


We become aware of every part of the frame to make sure that every single element is working to complement our subject.

Now, this is key. Every single thing in your frame needs to be working with, or complementing your subject.

If it’s not, you need to move around and try to work the subject and surrounding elements into a better composition.

Filling the Frame: 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photos

Sometimes a photographer will react too quickly. They make a photo from where they are standing instead of thinking about the most favorable position to be in and how it can greatly improve the image.

I mention position here because I believe it is the first option when it comes to filling the frame with a subject.

Usually, what happens when we do not fill the frame with our subject is we end up creating a lot of space in the photograph. This is all fine if you are using this space with intent. However, if you are not, then it just looks vast and empty, and your subject is competing with the “bad space.”

Filling the Frame: 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photos

Changing your position and getting closer to your subject is your best first choice. Remove that unwanted space by physically moving closer or zoom in if you must. (I will always prefer moving to zooming).

Have a look at the photos of mine that I’ve included in this article. They are all images where everything in the frame is 100% relevant. Even with a complex image like this, I have considered every part of it:

Filling the Frame: 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photos

5 Simple but Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photos

1. Always think about your position

In general, bad photographs have way too much wasted space. You can easily remedy this by thinking about your position relative to your subject.

Do you need to get closer to reduce wasted space around your subject? This also has the added benefit of making a photo more intimate when you get closer.

Filling the Frame: 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photos

2. If moving is not an option, then consider switching lenses

If changing position is not possible, then now would be a good time to switch lenses. This method is not as good (I think) as changing your physical position, but it can allow you to fill the frame, drawing interest to your subject.


3. Check the edges of the frame

This is a very common mistake for beginner-photographers.

Some do not put enough effort into looking at the entire frame and what lies on the edges of it. When you shoot this way, you find yourself cropping a lot more to remove those things you overlooked when shooting.

It is better to learn to see the whole frame than to get good at cropping because you didn’t see it in-camera.

Filling the Frame: 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photos

4. Photography is a process of reduction

Let’s say you moved in closer to fill that frame. Now is a good time to ask yourself – is there anything else that does not need to be in the frame?

You can find the answer to this by asking if it is helping or hurting your subject. If you decide the element does not need to be there then take it out.

This usually requires a change of position or some movement from you!


5. Don’t fixate on your subject

If you are really dedicated to filling your frame and making better images, then my one ultimate piece of advice is to NOT fixate on your subject.

This is the #1 reason photographers are dissatisfied with their images later.

Sure, be in awe and wonder of what you are shooting, that’s part of the joy of doing photography. However, don’t lose yourself to the point your composition is not it’s very best.



Remember to always shoot with intent.

I would love to know what you think of my tips and ideas about ways to improve your photos. Please let me know in the comments below.

Is this an idea you practice? Alternatively, is this new and you think you might use this in the future?

Thanks for reading.



The post Filling the Frame: 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Anthony Epes.

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