OP Home > How-To > Shooting > It's In The Details

How-To



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's In The Details


Go beyond the ordinary macro shot to create striking close-ups anywhere

Labels: How-To

This Article Features Photo Zoom


As you get physically closer and closer to your subject, you’ll find increasingly interesting possibilities for your images. The world looks different up close. You may find that your original subject is no longer the most compelling thing in front of your lens as you approach macro distances. Common subjects for close-up work are flowers and insects; they can be fun to photograph, and you can get outstanding images of them. But if you stay open to other close-up possibilities, you’ll discover a wealth of other subjects. In fact, just moving in close with your camera will help you see new worlds of compositions and subjects.

The details of nature offer a lot to you as a photographer that go beyond simple subject matter options:

1 You can shoot nature close-ups at almost any time, in any weather and in any place. That’s such a great benefit, giving you options for continuing to photograph when other subjects are less promising.

2 This type of photography will enhance the way you see light. Since close work has such a different scale, you can quickly move around a subject to find better light in ways that you can’t do with a larger subject.

3 Close-up detail work will train your eye for better compositions. The close shot can be your proving ground to experiment with composition, quickly trying different backgrounds, different proportions, going beyond the rule of thirds and more.

One thing I find helpful when doing close-up and macro work is to look for photographs and not subjects. With flowers and insects, I’m after a specific subject. With dew, leaf patterns or moss landscapes, for example, I look for interesting photos, not interesting subjects. That’s a subtle, but important change in how you think about taking pictures.

Look For Light And Its Effects
No matter the subject, the light always matters. The more you appreciate and develop your relationship to light, the better your photos will become. Up close, you really have the chance to work the light on a subject.

11 Comments

Add Comment

 

Popular OP Articles

  • Super Charged!Super Charged!
    There’s no substitute for megapixels. We look at the highest-pixel-count cameras, both medium-format and full-frame models, of all time. More »
  • Digital MythbustingDigital Mythbusting
    We bust some of the most common myths that digital photographers take into the field to help you get your best images More »
  • B&W EssentialsB&W Essentials
    A look at the essential gear you need for making your best black-and-white landscape, wildlife and travel photos More »