Don’t forget the B-roll

by | Digital Photography Tips | 2 comments

Simple Tip Saturdays are all about giving easy ideas for you to grab and run.

A couple of weeks ago a reader asked me about all the landscape photos she has taken over the years. What should she do with them?, she asked. My first answer was to cull at least 50%, because we are often guilty of overshooting.

My second answer, I think, surprised her. I suggested that she celebrate these images as part of the story and give them only slightly less importance that the “people pictures” she was more interested in.

In television and film there is a special term for these extra images, B-roll. Imagine a documentary film with just interviews. Wouldn’t that be dreadfully boring? Secondary images offer context and grounding that help us to connect with the words and people. B-roll gives stories a sense of place.

Before you marginalize your bonus shots too much, make sure to consider them as part of the bigger picture and what they contribute to your memory. A street or grassy hill or a sweeping ocean view can take you back to that place much faster than Uncle Jeff’s toothy grin.

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  1. Steph

    One thing that I have done with those landscape pics in digi scrapping them is to use them as a background. Sometimes I make is transparent it a bit, or use a mask on top, but it always adds to the page with pics of the people in the place.

  2. Lain Ehmann

    What a great idea! I also love your point about using them as transparent background images. I love that look.


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