Thursday, December 08, 2005

Close Up and Macro Photography

By Christina VanGinkel

When taking photographs, the average, non-professional photographer is usually very object-oriented. We zoom in on a particular subject, such as a person, or take a panoramic shot of some event that is taking place, say a parade, or a soccer game, and we shoot the complete scene. What many of us never do though, is to take a close-up shot of an object, or grouping of objects. Why we would want to, you might be wondering, when we already have tons of personal photos we do not know what to do with. Why would we want to take even more photos that might look interesting, but that do not have a true usefulness? Well, actually there are numerous reasons we might want to get some up close and personal shots of some otherwise everyday objects, with some very interesting ways to use them.

If you are looking for artwork to hang on the wall, something a bit beyond the average, or are a scrapbook artist that would like to use more of your own personal photography in your layouts, think of all those times you needed the perfect background paper and just could not seem to find the perfect paper. These are the ideal opportunities to use shots such as these. Background paper is one of the most interesting pieces of a layout, yet finding the perfect paper is not always easy to accomplish, even when there are literally hundreds of manufacturers. So personalized do many of us get with our scrapbook layouts, that finding the background we envision is like the proverbial needle in a haystack. So why not use the digital wonders we already own to shoot our own personal supply of background papers.

If you are sitting there saying that you are not any good at close-up photography, then look at some of the pictures you already have. Is there an element in one of them that captures what would have been the perfect close-up if you had thought of it when you took the original, for example, how about those sweet baby feet in the snapshot of your newborn? Just crop away the rest of the photo in your favorite photo editing software, and voila, the perfect close-up. This technique is simple, and can be applied to both old and new photos.

If you still are not finding the perfect picture for your needs, and your camera is capable, try what is referred to as macro photography, where the lens captures the texture of an item you have zoomed in to as close as you could. The texture of an item like leather, or the threads of a cotton or silk fabric in a color that is fab, will result in a picture that once framed, will be just as fab hanging on the wall. Experimentation is as much fun as the results.

So grab your camera and instruction book and teach yourself the basics of close up photography, or dig through your existing photographs for those, out in the open elements, which would be ideal for your needs, and dust off that editing software that you just had to have but rarely use. The results can be fun, and even more fun to discover.

No comments: