So why is this such an important element of an image? Hello! It is the reason you are taking the shot. Often amateur photographers want to get as much of a scene in the photo as possible. They want to remember everything at once despite the fact that the resulting image is cluttered, confusing and downright average. Many of our photograph albums are cluttered with images that aren’t memorable and the subjects are indistinguishable from all the other elements. What then is the solution to this problem? What can be done to solve the dilemma? The news is good and the solution very simple. Here goes, some tips to make your subject the star of the photo.
1. Be selective
Take a careful look at the scene and decide immediately what is most important to you. Try this little exercise. Picture yourself in 20 years time flipping through an album of precious memories. Perhaps the person you are remembering has passed away. What would you like to change about the image to make it more memorable? If you could go back in time, what would you have excluded from the photo? You are getting the opportunity to decide now what will be the memory later. That leads to the next point.
2. Exclude Clutter
Clutter is a part of everyday lives but we don’t want to remember it in our photos. All of us have this problem after we have taken a photo. We leave too much in the photo that is not necessary. Getting back to the previous point. In that precious photo what do you consider unimportant and not necessary in the image? These are items you want to exclude and take the opportunity to include more of what you really want into the image. Again this leads us on to the next point.
3. Give your subject most of the attention
In order to do this you must make the subject the centre of attention. Pretend it’s a Hollywood star and make it the star attraction. All of sudden the subject becomes more prominent and anyone can tell who or what the subject of the photo is. It should hit you front and centre and say without confusion, “I am the subject”. If the subject doesn’t shout “I’m the subject” then it’s not the subject.
4. Get in closer
By doing this you automatically do point 2. Exclude all the clutter and unnecessary elements of an image. Things that you really don’t want to remember in ten or twenty years time. This should be logical. All of us dream of better cameras or lenses that will get us closer to the subject. So, use your feet. Walk in closer and fill the image with your subject or just a part of the subject, unless of course it’s a lion in a safari park. Most times you can use your feet to get in closer and this will immediately improve the image and make your subject more prominent.
5. Change your perspective
In simple terms this means move around and find a different location from where you can shoot, or, a more interesting angle. Changing your angle from right in front of your subject to a lower or higher viewpoint will give a completely different perspective. Lie on your stomach or back, climb a ladder or go down some stairs giving you a vantage point for great images.
Key to great subject placement is thinking outside the box. And key to this is plain old thinking. Give more thought and time to your image before clicking the shutter button. The old saying that goes, “time is money” can be equated to “time is quality”. The more time and effort you put into your photography will result in better quality images. There are a number of other ways you can improve your image but by putting into practice these simple principles will give you immediate photographic success.