Photo Composition for Better Photography
Notes from the Web



Isolation is the process of simplifying the intent of a photo by eliminating extraneous elements (and clutter). This can mean

  • Moving or zooming the camera in closer to the subject to create a tighter frame for the shot.
  • Removing backgrounds that are distracting or confusing. This can be done by walking around the subject or choosing another camera angle that results in a less distracting background.
  • By using depth-of-field to blur objects in the foreground or background. that distract the eye from the main subject.


Through isolation, the photographer directs attention to the subject. To quote one author:

"Less is more. As in most artistic endeavors, photography is most successful when a few elements are balanced harmoniously, and order is imposed from chaos."

"A small representation of a vast scene is often more effective than trying to capture the whole thing"



  • Tightening up too much on a shot can remove environmental or cultural details that help "tell the story". Sometimes framing the subject within their habitat is essential.