Great-Horned Owl with Berries
A)  Subject is at eye-level, which is usually better than looking down or up at the subject.  The owl is off-center in the frame and his head is in the upper thirds position.  You can clearly see the subjects eyes and face, an important point when taking portraits.  The owl is sharp and well exposed, with room to breathe in the frame (the head or tail is not cut off).  

B)  The background is nicely out of focus, which helps separate the main subject, the owl, from the background and makes him stand out.  There are no distracting lights, wires, or hotspots in the background to distract our attention.  The rule is to keep the backgrounds clean, for a more effective image.

C)  The red berries add a bit of color and are that extra touch that makes the picture really come together.  

D)  The tree the owl is sitting on frames the owl on the right side and bottom.  This helps tell the story by portraying the owl in his natural environment.  

Past PhotoTips

September 2004

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November 2003