Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Photo Tips Series - Take a Step Back

Last week we talked about creating better photos by getting right in there and filling the frame with our subject.

This week, we're going to talk about doing the exact opposite.  Don't be afraid, it's going to be painless.  I promise.

As bloggers, most of the time we should be zeroing in on our craft or recipe (or whatever awesomeness we have just created) because it is THE thing we are showcasing.  However, sometimes you want to tell a story with your photo.  Sometimes you want to take a step back and show the context of your subject. Sometimes, what is surrounding your subject really adds to the photo.

For example, I have a friend who is now living in New Zealand.  She saw this particular photo below and mentioned that it told a story to her:  the white sheet of ice, all of the children and adults milling about, the advertisement boards at the back.  Obviously, she isn't spending a lot of time in arenas down there so this picture, with all of its details, brought her home.


Now I know that my nephew, Lucas, is super adorable, but in this case she found it more interesting to see the big picture and the story it is telling.

Here is a different example.  The first picture shows a cropped version, focusing in on this man's face and it's a great photo of him.


But if we back out and include his immediate surroundings,....now, check out the photo below.  What a story it tells! (what the heck IS that thing?)




I still think that for most of our blogging applications, zooming in is the way to go, but if you're particular post is more about landscape shots or photos that tell stories - you just might want to experiment with backing out.

References:

Improve Photography
Boston.com

3 comments:

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Great advice. I still have not ventured out of the house with my new camera. Most of my shots so far have been relatively close. We are going to a wedding this weekend and I am trying to decide whether to take the camera or not...it takes me a long time to get a shot. I'm not sure people would be patient enough! Our Thanksgiving is tomorrow so I need to get going...I wish you were here to help me cook!

Kadie said...

Great reminder! I do find myself zooming on in all the time. But you are right having a photo tell a story can be so wonderful.

BTW, I think the man is sitting on an old style grain combine. My dad farms grain and the head of the machine looks very similar to the ones that dad uses. I spent many hours in combines growing up. Grain and Spud harvest are always a huge deal in my corner Idaho.

MiMi said...

Sometimes I do that with my pics...I'll crop it to close up to the face and then do it normal and use it on the same scrapbook page or photo collage...cuz they're so different! :)

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