Digital Photo Academy

Learn How To Use Your Digital Camera

Framing & Composition – Mix It Up!

Digital Photo Academy and LivinginHD present a free monthly series of photography webinars on Your host, John Bentham answers many questions live during the webinars. Additional questions and answers are posted here on where you can also view the archived webinars for reference.



Photos by Wolfgang Kaehler, DPA Instructor, Seattle

The three fanciful, fun and exotic photographs of birds here that appeared in the DPA Sports and Fast Action Webinar, were shot by Wolfgang Kaehler, DPA Instructor, Seattle. Wolfgang travels a lot and is very good at covering a subject, as evidenced by his 500,000+ searchable archive of travel and location photos. If you vary the camera position and framing you can potentially get more than one great photos of the same subject. Be careful when deleting images in the field, most pros don’t do it preferring to wait until later to edit. You can’t really tell about the impact or success of a particular photo until you open them up on your computer, what looked weak on the LCD might be masterful when viewed larger.

Framing & Composition: Often it′s useful to compose without using the camera – LOOK at what you want to make a picture of. This is the arrangement of the subject and its surroundings within the viewfinder. Is there a story in your photograph? Does your photograph say what you want about the subject? Is there another way to tell the same story? If so, try it. Am I too close? … Or am I too far away? Can you make a better photograph by getting closer to the subject, or moving back to show more context, to give some reference to what the subject is doing. What will make the things you like about the scene appear better in the finished photograph? Don’t be afraid to change something to make a better picture.




Fill the frame: Fill the frame and get close enough to eliminate objects you don′t want in your picture. Remember that part of taking a good picture is leaving things out that are distracting, (like garbage pails or dead plants). Be aware of things like the horizon. Is it level? Is the sun hitting the subject or are they in a shadow? (Most of the time it is better if the sun is behind you and hitting the subject). Make sure your own shadow is not in the picture, unless of course you want it there.





All DPA students can submit photographs for inclusion in the Digital Photo Academy, LiHD Webinar, Online Photo Class Series. If you would like to submit your photographs for an upcoming webinar, read the following. Each webinar has a specific theme or topic. You can see the date and topic of the next webinar at, Tip of the Day, Online Photo Class. Note that webinars are edited and formatted days in advance, thus please submit your photos at least a week in advance of the webinar, late submissions can not be added. Photographs are chosen, and edited, for their applicability to the webinar theme, artistic and technical merit, and content length. If your photograph is NOT chosen, it will be archived and may appear in a more appropriate future webinar.

Submit your photographs to

Please submit your images in the following specs:
Compressed JPEG
Approx size 1-2 MB per image
200 dpi
10 inch size longest edge
Large file size is requested should the need arise to magnify or open and enlarge an image during the webinar.
If EXIF Metadata is not attached please provide exposure info if possible

Please include your name and city in the image file name as below:
Please also indicate who was your DPA instructor and in what city, and at what level was your DPA class, Advanced, Intermediate or Beginner.

Please also include brief captions including subject, location and any pertinent tech info.
If it is not immediately clear from your image, for which webinar you are submitting photos, please indicate this as well.

By submitting your photographs for consideration, you grant and authorize, The Digital Photo Academy, and Panasonic, the following rights: The right to use your photograph(s) in the content and promotion of the webinar series, and for use on each company’s respective website. You further authorize your photograph(s) may be archived online and/or in a database, and allow unrestricted internet availability of the webinar(s) containing your photograph(s). You further authorize the use of your photograph(s) in any future webinars. By voluntarily submitting your photographs for consideration you agree to the aforementioned without any legal claims, or claims for remuneration, whatsoever. You, as the photographer, retain the copyright © of any submitted photograph(s). The aforementioned companies will make best possible efforts to apply proper photo credit and acknowledgement with your photograph whenever possible and practical.


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