This is a guest post by Thomas Shue –
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Many times in photography you have very little control of the distracting elements that just may end up in your frame. Combine that with the desire to deliver images that set you apart, you just might find the next five minutes to be pretty darn valuable.


Imagine that you and I are tasked with covering an event such as basketball game. We both have the same camera and lenses, and are told that we are not permitted to use flash, or pose the subjects. For the sake of argument, lets say both of us are proficient at using our gear. So what exactly is going to set us apart? Well, let me tell you, it’s ones knowledge and experience that sets you apart.


I hear many people say, I shoot JPEGs, and they, get it right in camera. Well, all I can say is that’s wonderful news. This means that it will be super easy to set myself apart from those people. First off it’s impossible to get it right in camera. For starters, today’s digital cameras don’t have enough dynamic range to record a scene that’s, full range (a scene containing a solid black, mid tones, and a solid white point). But most importantly, if you can’t control the scene with lighting and posing, it’s all but impossible to deal with distracting elements.


© Thomas Shue
Thomas Shue


In the days of film, making a negative was only half of the equation. The skills in the darkroom were and are just as important as running the camera. With digital, this is no different. I use digital in the dame exact way as I did with film, everything is just much faster. I almost never shoot JPEG, I just know that I am always going to be post working my images. I know that with all of my digital darkroom tools and techniques, it’s easy to deal with problems and set myself apart.


© Thomas Shue
Thomas Shue

Before you watch the video, I want point out just a few things that can be a distracting element in a photo. White/light tones, heck any sort of brightness commands our attention, we are drawn to them like a bug is to a bright light. Cluttered backgrounds, and poorly composed images can all be a distraction. Also be aware of objects that are directly behind your subjects head, think face in a clean space. Lastly, bright colors are a huge distraction, and just happen to be the focus in today’s video tutorial.


Disclaimer: This is just one way to handle distracting objects.