Creating a sense of place

02 June 2016

Region: London

This month Robert advises us on giving our photographs a sense of place, creating a direct connection between the subject and the place it inhabits.

For many photographers, whenever they encounter a subject such as a bird or flower, the natural tendency is to isolate it from the background thereby resulting in a clean image where the subject really stands out. The results can often be very dramatic particularly if the animal or plant fills the frame. As rewarding as it is to take such images they say little about where it was taken.  A close-up of a heron or daffodil could have been taken, well, anywhere but by including the background and by having it in relative sharp focus, you have immediately given that photograph a sense of place and there is now a direct connection between the subject and the place it inhabits. Since a substantial part of the image is of the environment and not just of the animal or plant you now need to assess the scene as you would when photographing a landscape so that it works as a whole.

My advice when photographing flowers is to use a wide-angle lens and get low and close so that at least a third of the frame is occupied by the flower and when photographing birds and animals, consider the rule of thirds and try not to place the subject in the centre but, instead, in one of the corners. Photographs such as these can be tricky to pull off but if done well can say so much more about the subject and have far greater impact than a frame- filler!       


Image ©Robert Canis

Comments (1)

02 June 2016

Very helpful advice in creating the Breathing London "story"

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