THE EYE'S FOCUS (4/5)

By Sofia Sjöberg


Vignette/Isolate the subject Isolating the subject, before the digital age this was called vignette, but I’m going to use the term isolating since it makes more sense. It’s pretty obvious once you know, but isolating the subject is key to a good photo.

Try to find a simple background, it could be anything, the important thing is that it has the same colour over a larger area where you can put your subject.

For lifestyle photos, this is pretty easy to do. You can always have the model walk back and forth, like I’m doing in photos 5 & 6. As you can see on the photos, I disappear into the background. It’s partly because I’m wearing all black, never shoots well except silhouette, so try having the skier wear something that is not black (even just a bright beanie helps) but also since I’m walking in front of a cluttered part of the photo with houses and a road as a background.

As you can see on photo 6, it’s easier to spot me which in turn makes a better photo. It would have been even better if I was even more to the left and a bit further away, then I would have been fully isolated against the lake. The goal is to help the eye find the interesting part of the photo. So the more the person pops out from the background, the easier it is for the viewer to understand what he/she is looking at and what the interesting part of the photo is.


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Photo 5: Canon 70-200 mm at 110 mm

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Photo 6: Canon 70-200 mm at 70 mm shot


It might sound easy but for action it’s a bit tricker especially when you’re shooting a jump. Partly because you never know excatly how high the skier will be in the air, but also that different skiers pop differently, and different tricks have different air paths. Trying to match a skier to a snowpatch on the mountains can take a few tries and as you can see from the photos below, it’s easier to shoot the skier to the sky. Another tip for shooting a jump is obviously to shoot it from the largest looking angle. Combining the two can be diffcult, like on photos 7 & 8, where the jump looks smaller when Jacob is isolated to the sky compared to when non-isolated.

 

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Photo 7: Canon 24-70 mm at 70 mm shot

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Photo 8: Canon 24-70 mm at 40 mm shot

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Photo 9: Canon 70-200 mm at 150 mm shot

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Photo 10: Canon 70-200 mm at 100 mm shot

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