A background or bokeh (a Japanese term meaning the blurred out-of-focus part of an image) can really create a unique element within a photo, and will often make a subject really stand out. Don’t leave your backgrounds to chance, plan them! In my photo of a Chickadee, the rust colored bokeh is created by leaves on an oak tree in the background. By strategically placing an old pine branch near my backyard feeder for the birds to land on before jumping to the seed, (See my earlier post about how I created the feeder.) I was able to plan the background of my shots using the oak tree for a nice bokeh. The oak is far enough away from the pine branch that no detail of the actual tree is visible, just a smooth rust color from the leaves.
So, plan those backgrounds to create stronger images, and get out there and shoot away!
Also see my articles for DPS at http://digital-photography-school.com/author/brucewunderlich/