8 week online workshop
lesson 3
1: Eliminating Distractions

I spent some time trying to capture a squirrel for my photo of the day and spent that time working on the assignment for this lesson. These were taken through my front window because I couldn’t get close enough outside and it’s too cold to stand out there trying. The first photo I noticed a leaf in the background by his tail and a dark spot in the snow, so I changed to horizontal and repositioned slightly and fixed both issues. Then as you can see in the last photo, I zoomed in and really eliminated the distractions. I’m going to keep working on this lesson because this is something I need to work on, I don’t spend enough time watching out for items in the background.

These were all taken at 1/250ss iso100 and F6.3

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27 years old from Saint Paul MN (US). I have a 3 year old daughter, a son in heaven who would be 2, and 1 year old identical twin sons! I've been with my husband for 10 years but we've only been married since August 2013. I have always loved photography and just 5 months ago upgraded from my point n shoot to a canon t3 DSLR. I'm in love!


  1. Cute. It was nice of the squirrel to play photographic model for you 🙂 Well done on this topic. I truly believe this is the composition trick that will improve your photography the most once you have mastered it. But it does take practice. And it needs to become part of your “before I click the shutter” routine – check the background!
    Really nice job on the exposure too. You are quite a master at shooting in snow. But I guess you have to be 🙂

    • Thanks Robyn, I do have to be a master of the snow, we have 3+ ft of it right now! Only a few months though until the snow goes away 🙂 I couldn’t be more excited!

  2. These are really beautiful, Samantha. Obviously your windows are nice and clean! What a great little model. I think in the first one that the branch etc isn’t a distraction but adds to the picture nicely, but I really like the last two in particular. Really well exposed considering all that snow and a lighter coloured subject. (And I’ll swap you on the snow – I’m sick of the heat here already and it’s only January!)

  3. Wow! These are beautiful. I like the first image best – but only because you can see the whole squirrel. I have never seen a squirrel in real life – who knew they were so damn cute? I know there is a leaf in the background, but the colour of his fur and the brightness in his eyes really contrast against the snow in this image.

  4. Super cute squirrel….love the 3rd shot…follows the rule of thirds nicely! 🙂

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