What’s in the background?

What’s in the background?

8 week online workshop
lesson 3
Eliminate distractions

I enjoyed taking shots and really trying to think about how I could best frame the shot to get rid of the distractions in the background.
In the first 2 shots taken at Clareville it is rather impossible to get rid of the boats in the background as they are dotted everywhere and taking the shot from the other angle (ie. me in the water) means that the houses are in the background instead. So, what I tried to do was to get closer to my daughter and I used a narrow depth of field to blur the background as much as possible.
In the other 2 shots of my eldest daughter’s first day of school the first picture had both the cubby house and the trampoline at the sides of the shot as distractions, so I changed the orientation of the shot to eliminate these. (Don’t look too closely at the sign….the ink in my printer chose the first day of school to run out…so I had to go over the text in marker. I like to make these signs each year and look back at how much she has grown on the first day of school each year).

DSC05419 DSC05421 DSC05412 DSC05413

I'm a Sydney mum to 2 gorgeous girls and am pregnant with my 3rd daughter, who will join us at the end of March. I'm keen to learn more about capturing the best shots of my children and am excited to be learning how to use my camera.


  1. Hi Sally. It’s not easy to eliminate distractions in a lot of scenes. I think the only thing you could have done in both these scenes is go closer. Even closer in the last one of your daughter. There are a couple of small things in the top right and bottom left corners that you could crop out (either by getting just a little closer or cropping in an editing program). It would also be quite easy to crop out the boats in the first one. Of course you don’t always have to get rid of background items if they add to the scene. The boats actually add some context.

  2. Thanks for the tips, Robyn. I actually like the boats in the first 2 shots as it puts the shot in context and is a good reminder of where we were. I’ve just read through the next lesson so that’s the next activity to practice…getting closer to my subject. 🙂

  3. I like the boats in the first shot, too – they could have actually really framed the shot, if you had dropped down a bit and managed to move a little so they acted like ‘leading lines’ to your daughter. If that makes any sense. It would have been a busy shot but in a good way as they would have really provided some context.

Leave a Reply