Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Narrowing your vision is simply looking for the details by going in close.  But, it's not just the mechanical act of zooming-in with your lens--it's a way of seeing.

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.

One of my favorite things to photograph here in Idaho: Freezing Fog! This stuff is amazing! I saw my neighbor's bush across the street with the morning sun behind it and took this image. Nice icy tendrils--a nice record shot..but, upon closer examination….

 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

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