The Light Chaser: Avoiding mergers.

April 19, 2015

myprolab_021715The Light Chaser is brought to you by, a professional photographic lab offering services to the consumer market., the official photographic lab of Media Group 31 (our parent company).

The Light Chaser. A blog by Rob Alway.

Chapter 12: The Rules of Composition, part 3

Over the last two chapters we have covered the rules, or rather guidelines, of composition. Composition is basically how the photographer tells the viewer what to look at in the photograph. When taking a picture, you need to ask yourself, “What do I want the viewer to see, what is my subject? Why am I taking this picture?” Then, you have to find the best way to draw the viewer’s eye to that subject. The “rules” of composition are age-old ways of achieving that result. The techniques can be found in photography and centuries old paintings.

What you probably won’t find in those paintings is the merger.

A merger occurs when the photographer inadvertently includes a distraction to the foreground of the picture. A good example would be when taking a picture of a person with a tree in the background and the tree branches appear to be growing out of the person’s head.

There are some simple solutions to prevent most mergers. The photographer can chose a different angle to shoot from or can have the subject move. Often reducing the depth of focus, so the background is blurry, can help as well.

Rob Alway is editor-in-chief of Media Group 31, LLC, owner of Mason County Press, Manistee County Press and Oceana County Press. He is also a professional photographer with over 25 years of career experience and an adjunct instructor of photography at West Shore Community College. He and his wife, Becky, own Alway Photography,

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