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Habit 6 for Amazing Photographs.

Updated on September 2, 2014
Flamingos photo by Bron Praslicka
Flamingos photo by Bron Praslicka

Effective Photographer Habit 6: Fill the Frame.

As I mentioned in the summary, whether it is due to a respect for an individuals personal space, or it is simply due to some socially accepted norm, when taking someone's photo we typically stand back several feet from them. If we have learned anything from the "selfie" photo crave brought on by the smartphone, it is that photos taken only an arms length away can be quite interesting.

Habit 6 then is all about overcoming those silly social norms and learning to get in the face of your subject. I can assure you that this will be the one habit that you are most likely to forget about - simply due to the fact that old habits die hard.

To be honest this is not a habit you will want to use on every photo. There are some occasions where you want to show the background - such as when you are on vacation and want to take a photo of your family standing in front of the White House or the Statue of Liberty. However I suggest you try to force yourself to try this technique as often as possible.

In the past I have to admit I wasn't a big fan of taking photos at the zoo. I think one of the reasons was that it typically pretty hard to capture a photo where something in the shot didn't give away the fact that you are taking photos in a zoo. Once I started using the technique of filling the frame I found that taking photos in the zoo took on a whole new meaning.

Although I have never seen flamingos in the wild, I am pretty sure I would never be able to get within 4 or 5 feet of one. In a zoo the flamingos get pretty used to people which means you can get fairly close and take advantage of the fill the frame technique.

Train Yourself To Take A Series Of Shots.

One thing that I have found very helpful in applying several of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Photographers is to make myself go through a series of shots each time I photograph a subject. Once I locate a great subject for a photo I go through a short routine;

1. I first change my perspective to assure I have a good background for my shot.

2. I take a few photos at a reasonable distance away from my subject.

3. I zoom in about half way and take a few photos.

4. I zoom in as close as possible and fill the frame with the subject.

5. I change my perspective on the subject and go through items 2 thru 4 again.

By going through this process each time I find that it forces me to take A LOT of photos and it allows me to capture various shots both up close and far away. Again thanks to digital photography it doesn't matter how many photos I take - they are all free.

In the smaller photo above I captured a nice photo of just a few of the gorgeous tulips in bloom at the Dallas Arboretum several years ago. But I also took the time to take several photos up very close - basically filling the frame with one or two tulips. Although I like both images, I find that my eye tends to move toward the photo below rather than the one of lots of tulips.

Of course I do want to note that although I say that digital photos are all free - or cost nothing to take - I do realize that there is the initial cost of buying the camera, there is also the cost of a memory card, and there is a cost to print a hard copy of a photo. What I mean by free is that once you have the camera and memory card there is no cost to take a photo and look at it - whereas with a film camera you have to purchase the film, pay to have it developed and you had to pay to have the photos printed in order to see what your photos looked like.

I just thought that in the rare chance someone might actually read this article - I would clarify what I meant by digital photos being free. Thanks.

Isolate The Subject.

The idea of Isolating the Subject could almost be a habit of its own but unfortunately that would give me a total of 8 Effective Habits of Highly Effective Photographers which would mean I couldn't play off of the title of Stephen Covey's wonderful book.

As another side note I didn't know until this last week that Stephen Covey had passed away in 2012. I was sad to hear of his passing since his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is among the top 5 most influential books I have ever read. At some point it might be worth writing an article (or Hub) regarding those 5 books - but I'll probably wait an see if anyone bothers to read this series first.

So back to the top of Isolating the Subject - this technique or concept has to do with selecting one particular subject out of a large number of subjects in order to highlight that subject. As an example the photo to the right is of a large field of common sunflowers that I discovered one summer while out looking for items to photograph.

Although the field full of sunflowers was impressive to see, they often don't look as impressive in a photo. I took a number of photos of the field but unfortunately I didn't care for any of the photos. I did however take a number of photos using the technique of Isolating the Subject combined with Filling the Frame which resulted in the photo below which I was thrilled with. By Isolating the Subject I was able to highlight one of the common sunflowers, but I also planned the background so that you could still see a number of sunflowers in the background - which helps to tell the story of the field full of sunflowers.

As I said earlier, this particular habit may not be one that you will want to use on every photo. I would still suggest you give it a try on the majority of your photos since you might just surprise yourself.

Keep taking lots of photos, and try a few of these various techniques just for fun.

Most of all - Enjoy.


To move on to Habit 7 in the series click on the link below. If you would like to review the other 7 habits follow the link at the bottom of this article. Thank you for taking the time to visit.

Stars at Christmas photo by Bron Praslicka
Stars at Christmas photo by Bron Praslicka

If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about habits or techniques you can use to enhance your photos - the link below will take you to my first article in this series on the 7 habits or techniques you can use for taking better photos.

© 2014 Bron Praslicka

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    • BronPraslicka profile image
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      Bron Praslicka 3 years ago from Dallas / Fort Worth area of Texas

      I am thrilled that I could help. Enjoy.

    • BronPraslicka profile image
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      Bron Praslicka 3 years ago from Dallas / Fort Worth area of Texas

      I am thrilled that I could help. Enjoy.

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      Johne213 3 years ago

      I really appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again! aekggbefafdb

    • BronPraslicka profile image
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      Bron Praslicka 3 years ago from Dallas / Fort Worth area of Texas

      You are without a doubt the best! Thanks for your comments. There are times I am wondering if anyone is reading them.

    • J Henderson 91 profile image

      J Henderson 91 3 years ago

      Great photos and great tips. Thanks for the info.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan

      Great tips, voted up and useful.