Filling The Frame In Your Photos Isn't Always Wise

Photography 101 advice often suggests making sure your subject fills the whole frame. But with high-resolution cameras, that isn't always the most sensible approach.

Keeping context in place is another useful snippet of advice from wildlife photographer Andy Rouse at the recent Focus on Imaging event in the UK.

If you make that decision to zoom in, you can't make the decision later on to go wider. Shoot wide and then crop if you need to. A lot of us want to take frame fillers, but it's nice for people to see the whole image.

For the same reason — editing is easy — Rouse also says he doesn't stress about camera positioning:

I don't worry about straight horizons when I shoot; I just worry about the image.


    Or, since memory is cheap, take 100 different photos of the subject and pick/edit your favourite later!

    I've just come back from an african safari and the number of people carrying around multiple 2ft long zoom's was incredible. I found that i got more than enough info with my 18-200mm zoom and 18mp sensor (canon 7d) that with a little help from aperture3 my photos were looking National Geographic in no time.

    Why wouldn't you do both? In an age of digital cameras, I can't think of a reason not to.

    It is also a good idea to shoot wider than your subject in case you later want to frame it on something like canvas, as a portion of your image tends to be wrapped around the edges of the frame. It is always a lot easier to crop a photo than it is to create extra content afterwards - though with Adobe CS5 it is looking like that will become easier too :)

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