Become more than a distant observer; you must journey into the scene like a detective looking for clues. You may get dirty. You may get scratched-up in the under-brush or get wet, but the results are worth it.
Speaking artistically, when I see an image showing a wide overall view of something, especially a well known landmark, I usually loose interest after 3 or 4 seconds. But, details not seen before are worth close scrutiny and often hold-up longer on the wall as art.
You can learn so much more about something when you zoom-in close that I tell my students, "Narrow your vision; when you show less you can reveal more!"
|f5.6 1/1250 sec., ISO 400, Lens @135mm|
So, what's more interesting--the forest or the leaf? This forest view is what I see most amateur photographers do as distant observers--safe. It's the image you get when you pull over at the "Scenic View" turnout.
|Lens @ 24mm|
If you're going to photograph a tree you need to, again, show a different point of view. I decided to show this tree from the point of view of a leaf! I am standing on a six-foot ladder (I'm 6'2" ). I got this great overhead view and using my lens at 24mm. It felt like I was really up in the tree.
|f5.0 @ 1/2000 sec. ISO 125 @ 70mm (macro-mode)|
All the remaining leaves on the bush were beautifully edged in ice crystals! I switch to MACRO mode to capture one of these tiny leaves (about 1 inch long) up close. Since there was a lot of light and I wanted a shallow depth-of-field I dropped the ISO low, opened up to f5.0 giving me a high shutter speed, which helped because it was windy and I was hand holding. This image is in my fine-art portfolio and, of course, the bush is not!
So, don't be that safe, distant, observer! Get in there, get on your knees, get dirty and show the world a different point of view.
Next week I will explain how you can translate this information to your travel photography. As usual, don't hesitate to drop me a line if you have questions or comments.
Author: Jerry W Venz, Master Photographer, Certified
Training site: http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com