You may notice I didn't start with A in my posts, even though this is PhotoABCs. That's because I really like to emphasize the importance of background.
I like to think of background as being clean, contextual, or cluttered. Of course, clean is usually good, as I showed in yesterday's post. What is often more difficult, is giving the subject a contextual background, in other words, showing it in its environment, without being cluttered, or distracting. Remember, most often, a simple photograph is more direct and communicates better than a busy one, with too many distractions.
Here is a sequence of photos I took at Grand Canyon Caverns in Arizona, along Route 66. The first photo shows the dinosaur in its location, in front of the caverns entrance.
To me, the building and surroundings are too distracting. Often I will place signs or other objects against the sky for a cleaner background:
That's better. The sky is cleaner, but of course, it gives no context for the picture. Looking around, I found what I needed:
The blowing US and Route 66 flags are just enough to give a context for the dinosaur. Having the dinosaur on one edge, and the flags on the other, gives visual interest. (E is for Edges will be a later topic).