Sometimes you see pictures where the background dominates the subject of the picture. The eyes are pulled away from the subject to the background. The subject does not get the attention we had in mind.
Often we focus too much on the subject and completely forget about the background. Later, when we look at the picture we are disappointed because it does not express the feeling we had when we took the picture. Somehow it has become a mediocre pictures because the background was ignored. Here I will describe a couple of these cases.
Subject is too dark and the background too bright This happens quite often using matrix metering. Because of the bright background the exposure in Automatic mode is reduced resulting in an under-exposed subject. Remedies are: get closer to the subject to reduce the size of the background or use a fill-in flash to better expose the subject.
Subject is small and in front of a busy background Due to the size of the subject it might be completely lost against a busy background. Remedy: look for a more quiet background.
The background is too strongly connected to the subject Keep in mind that a picture is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world, so it consists of shapes of similar color or similar texture. Imagine a person with a red shirt leaning against a red car. In this case, the shirt and the car may form one shape in the picture, distracting our eyes from the person. Another example is a lantern pole coming out of somebody’s head. Remedy: try to avoid unwanted connections between shapes in the background and the subject by using different colors, different compositions, or different positions.
So, the remedy is very simple. When you look through the view finder of the camera ALSO look at the background.