Amputation is a very common mistake of amateur photographers. Amputation occurs when you cut a portion of something off with one of the walls of your photograph. It's the result of not paying enough attention to what makes it inside the 4 walls of your photograph and what stays out. If you are too focused on your pictures main subject you may loose focus on other important details surrounding your main object.

Notice in the previous picture the photographer was so interested in taking a photo of the back muscles of a Rodin sculpture that they neglected to pay attention to what was happening around the edges of the photograph. Notice off to the left hand side the other group of sculptures had their heads cut off by the left wall of the photograph. Remember, as a photographer you need to ask yourself the following question again and again.

What am I going to allow within the 4 walls of my photograph and what am I going to make sure I don't let in to my photograph?

In the last example the photographer never asked themselves that question. When this happens you often get chaos and disorganization in the background and around the edges. If you have to amputate a part of an object, you better make sure that it's well thought out and appropriate.

When you take your next round of photographs pay extra attention to details around the edges. You'll notice you may need to reposition yourself, re-focus or change your depth of field to help create a non distracting, well thought out photograph. Don't simply point and click at your main subject with disinterest in the surrounding environment. It is likely the biggest mistake amateur photographers make. You can quickly better the outcome of your work by paying extra attention to the details around the edges of your photographs.

Other photography articles of interest: