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Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 86 of 107

Remove Distractions


Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 86 of 107

Remove Distractions


Lesson Info

Remove Distractions

There's a number of distractions that you can have in photographs. First off, you should try to avoid these when you shoot the photos as much as possible, but there is in some cases no way to avoid it, or you just didn't realize it and you're dealing with it after the fact. So there is a number of ways of just diminishing the things that aren't so good. Alright, so I like the big open space in this photograph but I have a couple of problems down in the right hand side, I had two different types of problems: I had sensor dust and I had a little bit of gunk in the water. And so, there's some distractions down here that I didn't really like. So I took out the sensor dust, and you can lock me up in Photoshop prison but I took out that little weed in the water, 'cause I just didn't think it was necessary there. If you go back and photograph it right now I guarantee you it's not there, alright? So for that part, it's pretty honest rendering of what this place looks like. So I did take those ...

out and you can use various cloning tools to take that out. There is a spot removal tool in Lightroom that is mainly designed for dust but can be used for other small items. It's not super versatile at getting everything out if you have a really complicated thing that you need to take out, like an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, you're probably gonna need Photoshop for that, and that's will be on what we're doing in this class. Sometimes, there's just a lot of extra-space, you didn't have a long enough lens for what you shot, so that's distracting in some ways, so we wanna focus on our subject, so just simply cropping in is a factor that I don't like to do but sometimes you're forced into doing it because that's just the best you've got at the time. There's a Crop Overlay tool in every photo editing device, use it sparingly 'cause you are throwing away pixels at the time that you do that. So our main subjects are in the middle of the photograph and that's where I want your eyes to go, and I don't need them around the edge. It's okay if you explore the photograph here, but if I want to darken the edges a little bit it really keeps your eyes right there in the middle of the photograph. There's a number of ways of doing that adding your own vignettes. Where is the action here? And I'm just gonna add, just a very little subtle change to this. To adjust those corners to keep your eyes where I want the action to be. In order to do this, the Radial Filter can be used, you can also use the Adjustment Brush, if it's not a simple circle or oval, it's a more unusual shape that you wanna make it big. Be honest about yourself when you look at your photos, what's important, what's drawing your eye away from what's important. On the photo on the left, I felt that the sky was just a little bit too bright. It may seem very picky but I'm just adjusting those highlights and the whites down, so just that the sky is not quite as pure and stark white, as it is in the photo on the left. And it's good when you get picky, that means you're really paying attention with your photographs. Your eye is attracted to color, and the color in the background is kind of distracting from what we wanted here. It's very easy just to diminish the color a little bit, so I've selected the color and just diminished it, just a little bit so it doesn't draw your attention quite as much as before. Another way to do this is, you can add a little bit of a blur to the subjects that you don't want. This one is a little bit hard to see so let's blow this up so you can see what I'm doing here. There's a variety of ways that you can add a little bit of blur to your subject. Now, you can do a complete fake blur and do a fake shallow depth of field, but just going in, and throwing that subject just a little bit more out of focus than it already is, and it's just gonna tend for the eyes to go more to that subject that is in focus, rather than the one that's out of focus.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Photographic Characteristics
  3. Camera Types
  4. Viewing System
  5. Lens System
  6. Shutter System
  7. Shutter Speed Basics
  8. Shutter Speed Effects
  9. Camera & Lens Stabilization
  10. Quiz: Shutter Speeds
  11. Camera Settings Overview
  12. Drive Mode & Buffer
  13. Camera Settings - Details
  14. Sensor Size: Basics
  15. Sensor Sizes: Compared
  16. The Sensor - Pixels
  17. Sensor Size - ISO
  18. Focal Length
  19. Angle of View
  20. Practicing Angle of View
  21. Quiz: Focal Length
  22. Fisheye Lens
  23. Tilt & Shift Lens
  24. Subject Zone
  25. Lens Speed
  26. Aperture
  27. Depth of Field (DOF)
  28. Quiz: Apertures
  29. Lens Quality
  30. Light Meter Basics
  31. Histogram
  32. Quiz: Histogram
  33. Dynamic Range
  34. Exposure Modes
  35. Sunny 16 Rule
  36. Exposure Bracketing
  37. Exposure Values
  38. Quiz: Exposure
  39. Focusing Basics
  40. Auto Focus (AF)
  41. Focus Points
  42. Focus Tracking
  43. Focusing Q&A
  44. Manual Focus
  45. Digital Focus Assistance
  46. Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF)
  47. Quiz: Depth of Field
  48. DOF Preview & Focusing Screens
  49. Lens Sharpness
  50. Camera Movement
  51. Advanced Techniques
  52. Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance
  53. Auto Focus Calibration
  54. Focus Stacking
  55. Quiz: Focus Problems
  56. Camera Accessories
  57. Lens Accessories
  58. Lens Adaptors & Cleaning
  59. Macro
  60. Flash & Lighting
  61. Tripods
  62. Cases
  63. Being a Photographer
  64. Natural Light: Direct Sunlight
  65. Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight
  66. Natural Light: Mixed
  67. Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light
  68. Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light
  69. Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light
  70. Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light
  71. Quiz: Lighting
  72. Light Management
  73. Flash Fundamentals
  74. Speedlights
  75. Built-In & Add-On Flash
  76. Off-Camera Flash
  77. Off-Camera Flash For Portraits
  78. Advanced Flash Techniques
  79. Editing Assessments & Goals
  80. Editing Set-Up
  81. Importing Images
  82. Organizing Your Images
  83. Culling Images
  84. Categories of Development
  85. Adjusting Exposure
  86. Remove Distractions
  87. Cropping Your Images
  88. Composition Basics
  89. Point of View
  90. Angle of View
  91. Subject Placement
  92. Framing Your Shot
  93. Foreground & Background & Scale
  94. Rule of Odds
  95. Bad Composition
  96. Multi-Shot Techniques
  97. Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction
  98. Human Vision vs The Camera
  99. Visual Perception
  100. Quiz: Visual Balance
  101. Visual Drama
  102. Elements of Design
  103. Texture & Negative Space
  104. Black & White & Color
  105. The Photographic Process
  106. Working the Shot
  107. What Makes a Great Photograph?


a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!


Dear John, thanks for this outstanding classes. You are not only a great photographer and instructor, but your classes are pleasant, they are not boring, with a good sense of humor, they go straight to the point and have a good time listening to you. Please, keep teaching what you like most, and I will continue to look for your classes. And thanks for using a plain English, that it's important for people who has another language as native language. Thanks again, Juan