Getting 'up close and personal' for a great shot

I've been camping for the past couple days at Ottawa National Park in Michigan's breathtaking Upper Peninsula. This is the kind of place that begs the question, "What do I shoot?" We've had a light rain so everything is lush and glistening. It's the kind of place that a person can easily go shutter-crazy in, especially if you have a compact digital camera with a macro feature. If you haven't taken advantage of the macro feature on your camera yet, you're missing out on many great photo opportunities. When you see how much impact closeup photos have, you realize that you're often surrounded by great photos just waiting for you to unveil them.

Think about the vacation photos that your friends and family show you. I'm willing to bet that most of their photos are taken from a distance, with lots of distracting background. The classic example is a full-length photo of someone facing straight at the camera, often standing next to some historical marker or feature unique to that area. An example I saw yesterday is a waterfall. Most photographers stand WAAAY back to get lots of background in the photo. As a result, most vacation photos lack the 'umpf' that close-up photos offer.

If you think I'm wrong on this, let me give you an example and you tell me if you think this long far away shot of the waterfall... more interesting than this closeup photo of the same waterfall.

My personal opinion is that the far away shot of the waterfall only serves to show that I was near a waterfall. That's not so valuable when you consider that I could have gone into the local gift shop and bought a similar photo that looks better than the one I took. I prefer my close up photo because it's dynamic and has more 'umpf'. You know 'umpf' when you see it, because you feel it immediately. It's kind of like being in love, you either feel it or you don't. If you're ever in doubt, take both kinds of photos. Some people were looking at me funny when I took the closeup photo because I was getting sprayed on and I was in an awkward position, but a lot of the fun of photography comes from the process of creating photos that reflect your unique personality. It's the reason why I've created 10s of thousands of photos over the past 15 years. Trying getting closer the next time you pull out your camera. You may be surprised at how much more impact your photos have.

1 comment:

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Great shots!!!