Behind every Photograph


This week’s Lens-Artist Photo Challenge is hosted by Ritva who invites us to consider what is behind the subjects of our photography.

Behind every photograph lies a story intertwined with its background.

When I travel, I enjoy photographing buildings, especially churches. Here, I face a choice of capturing the entire scene or focusing solely on the sculpture in front of the church. In this instance, it’s the Statue of Cardinal Moran outside St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.

What to focus on truly depends on personal preference. The left one emphasizes the cafes and people on the promenade, while the right one zooms in on the design of the yellow railing.

Decide how much of the scene you want in focus.

Here, since the background consists solely of a uniform color of leaves, I find it doesn’t detract from the white flower’s focus, even though it’s not blurred.

I wanted to emphasise the blue Hydrangea (sorry as I have used this image before) and the purplish beanie so I used a shallow depth of field to isolate the main subject.

While a larger depth of field is ideal for capturing expansive landscapes and the entirety of the scenery.

To ensure the main subject stands out, I used Portrait Mode on my iPhone for these photos, adjusting the depth of field to ensure backgrounds complement and enhance what I’m capturing.

The photos above looks better with its background blurry but here below I find that seeing the whole scene clearly tells a better story.

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Teresa, you showed me, us such great images with two differently focused shots, and how they with your chosen background changes the story ot interest in the image. You certainly know how to highlight the subject. Beautiful photos , all of them. Glad you joined and shared your very demonstrative shots of how to use background as a tool in photography

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks so much Ritva. It took a while for me to come up with an idea for this post…but got there in the end. Thanks for the challenge. Your photography is always amazing.

      1. that’s kind of you to say so, thanks 🙂

  2. I love the way you covered this topic!

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks so much. Much appreciate the comment.

  3. Toonsarah says:

    A good and thorough exploration of the difference adjusting depth of field can make to your photos 🙂 Incidentally, I prefer the last one with the blurred background – I find it intriguing when you can only partly see what is there, and the bull stands out better without the distractions. But that’s just personal opinion of course!

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks Sarah for the insight. But for me I see the story of the place when I see a bit of the surrounding. But for sure … photography is subjective sometimes. Have a great day Sarah ❤️

  4. VJ says:

    Your photos are all so interesting and expertly captured.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks much VJ for you wonderful comment .

      1. VJ says:

        My pleasure, Teresa

  5. margaret21 says:

    A lovely and thoughtful post. I particularly liked the waterside cityscape with the palm trees. Very dramatic!

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks so much Margaret. That is in Sydney, glad you liked it! ❤️

      1. margaret21 says:


  6. arlene says:

    Wonderful captures Techie.🥰

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks Arlene! Kamusta na?

      1. arlene says:

        Okay naman Techie, salamat.🥰

  7. JohnRH says:

    Great selections and comparisons. Very well done.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks so much John! Glad you liked it ❤️

  8. restlessjo says:

    You’re good at this, Teresa. I enjoy looking at life with you.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks so much Jo. That is nice to hear. ❤️

  9. Sofia Alves says:

    I really enjoyed your take on the challenge, Teresa. I have to say, my eyes are more compelled to the blured background ones.

    1. Teresa says:

      Me too. I love blurry backgrounds to highlight the main subject, especially for closeups.

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