Isolating Your Background by Joe Fitzpatrick

Peggy Farren 2012-10-18


Zombies from Zombiecon 2011, with the background isolated.

Street photography events such as Zombicon present the challenge of how to make your subject stand out in busy surroundings.

If you are fortunate to have a lens with an f/1.4 to f/2.8 aperture, shooting wide open will blur your background, more so if your lens is a telephoto. Such lenses, with the exception of the “nifty fifty” 50mm f/1.8, are expensive.

Another way to isolate your subject is to use fill flash. Set your camera’s controls to underexpose the background; then set your flash to properly expose the subject. Your subject will pop against the dark background, especially effective when Zombies are your subject.

A third, more time consuming, method is to alter the background when you post-process in Lightroom, Elements or Photoshop.

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