A Week of Storytelling: Day 2 – Make the Background a Part of Your Picture

Photograph © Rick Sammon. All rights reserved.
Canon 5D Mark II. Canon 24-105mm lens.

It’s Day 2 of Storytelling Week here on my blog. Each day, I’ll share a photography tip illustrated with one of my favorite photographs that I took this past April at the Sister’s Meal Festival in the province of Guizhou in southwest China.

The idea of this weeklong project: When you go to an event, on the other side of the world or on the other side of town, try to “tell the whole story” with your pictures.

Today’s tip: Make the background a part of your picture.

Those of you who have been on my workshops and who have attended my seminars know one of my favorite expressions: The name of the game is to fill the frame.

Filling the frame does not always mean that you need to fill the frame with the main subject.

In this picture, the woman working on a silver ornament is the main subject. I have a full-frame shot of her, but I prefer this that shows her co-workers in the background because it tells more of a story.

To get everything in the scene like this in focus, use a wide-angle lens, small aperture, and focus 1/3 into the scene.

Want more travel photo info? My current app, 24/7 Photo Buffet, offers a wealth of photo tips for photographers on the go – even HDR photographers.


P.S. Shoot me an email if you are interested in joining my 2011 China workshops. I will have some guest pros leading some workshops, too. Email me: Rick Sammon at mac.com