Eliminate Unwanted Distractions

Michael Laubscher All Authors, Michael 1 Comment

I do not enjoy looking at an image as much where my eyes keep jumping around or when they don’t know where to focus than looking at an image that takes my eyes straight to the point.

I wrote a blog a on “simplifying your work” that went live about a week ago and this made me think of writing this blog on one of the worst eye sores.

It is about making sure that you eliminate unwanted distractions in your frame in order for your audience not to bounce to and from your subject and that distraction.

At times it can be very difficult to not include distractions in the frame but if you can DO IT!

Try changing position or using a different focal length to try and eliminate it. If you have tried to and still cannot get rid of it, take the shot because you can take framing (cropping) a step further during post processing.

Take a look at this next image and tell me what you did not like.

Not only the bright sky but also the back end of a safari vehicle right? This pulls your eyes away from the leopard correct?

This leopard cub was on his way down as we got into the sighting and if we tried repositioning, we would of not got the shot. I could not zoom in any tighter to eliminate most of the sky and the vehicle and so I composted for post processing later on.  Tell me if this looks better…

Less of that bight sky and no more vehicle, bet you your eyes are locked onto this gorgeous animal, right?

Take a few minutes and have a close look at this next image. Whats wrong with it?

Not only is the well lit tree in the top right a of the frame a bit of a distraction but did you notice the fence line almost right at the top of the frame?

Again, I could not zoom in any tighter and had to include it in order to bank the shot knowing that post processing can help me later.

Like I mentioned sometimes you cannot help include distractions into the frame but sometimes you can avoid them. It is better to do as much as you can out in the field and not only rely on post processing.

In this next image we were sitting with a female leopard and her cub in a dense riverine thicket. The cub was in a very busy mood and when she finally stoped running around she was in the fairly good photographic position. This is the first image I took.

Nice looking image but will you agree with me if I say that the dark tree bark at the top left is a distraction?


In this sighting I could zoom in tighter, so i did.

More pleasing to the eye now?

I will also encourage you not to eliminate distracting but only if the distraction adds value to your image.

Like photographing through dense vegetation can provide a nice dramatic effect to your image.


If you are wanting to capture the experience of other people, friend, guests or how close animals are to safari vehicles and so on.

Then use those distractions to your advantage!

Referring back to that previous blog mentioned, just keep thinking of what story you are wanting to tell your viewers;

  • A long busy story?
  • A story with distractions?
  • A short to and to the point and powerful story?

and try when out in the field now, eliminate unwanted/needed distractions as much as possible before working on the images later on.

Until next time.

Happy snapping!



About the Author

Michael Laubscher


Haunted by the allure of spectacular wildlife and African sunsets. I am a hunter-gatherer of natural light and candid moments, an appetite whet with a taste of the unknown and the smell of home; “This Is Africa”! I look forward to sharing life long experiences with you and helping you capture them. Please feel free to go check out my Instagram account

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