The Devil’s In The Details

close up image of lupine

© Kurt Budliger Photography

Okay maybe not the devil but if you’re looking for a way to spice up your portfolio and/or be productive when the light is less than ideal you should really consider focusing on them; details that is.  When the light is too bright or dull for shooting big or grand landscapes (see my previous post here) you can be quite productive if you look for smaller details to fill the frame.  We spend a great deal of time as photographers taking in the big picture especially if we’re on a photo trip to a very photogenic place like most of the national parks.

The nice thing about focusing on the “tiny landscape,” as Mike Moats likes to call it, is that you don’t need to travel far from home to produce some stunning imagery.  Some of my best and most favorite close ups were taken in my yard or local woodlot.  The key to shooting these little landscapes is to slow down and observe, looking for abstract patterns, pretty colors and intricate details.  Once found use the following tips to help create some eye popping images.

* Less is always more, simplify the composition, eliminate unnecessary elements

* Pay attention to the background, make sure there is nothing distracting or competing with the main subject

* Parallel the subject for best depth of field and subject sharpness, this is important since you can only focus on one plane at a time

* Use large apertures (small f-stop numbers) for shallow depth of field or blurry backgrounds and smaller apertures (large f-stop numbers) for maximum depth of field.

* Shape the light using diffusers to soften harsh light, flash or a reflector to add fill

* Use a tripod for maximum sharpness

close image of tulip petal

© Kurt Budliger Photography

close up image of fiddleheads

© Kurt Budliger Photography

close up image of tulip

© Kurt Budliger Photography

close up image of lupine

© Kurt Budliger Photography

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~ by kurtbudliger on May 27, 2010.

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