Somewhere between distant landscape shots and macro shots lies close up shots. These are photos that many people find very appealing. Not many of us are able to see the plethora of objects from the perspectives of different photographers, so close up photos are welcomed. In general, we see close up shots of flowers, animals, people, insects, and so many other objects and beings. Now, just to be clear, I’m not referring to macro photography here, where you can see the nose hair on a ladybug. What I am talking about is an object that consumes the entire frame of a camera so the detail of that object shines through. While walking past a field of daisies, we may not notice the pollen at each flower’s center. When taking close up photos of those same daisies, a new world opens up to us.
While the benefit of displaying an object’s detail certainly is a reason to capture these close up shots, filtering out elements that may distract the viewer is another reason. I’ll show you some example images down below. When you view them, focus on the two areas I just discussed.
Here are a few tips you need to keep in mind when filling the frame. First, you’ll likely want to use a tripod. You’ll also want to wait for a day that’s calm with no wind, if shooting outside. Because you’re going to be after an object’s detail, it’s imperative that the object not move. Even the slightest movement can create motion blur and that will ruin your photo. Also, because you’ll either be zoomed in on an object or physically very close to it, you’re depth of field will inevitably be quite shallow. You’ll need to shoot in either Aperture Priority mode or full Manual mode to control this. Now here’s the thing: If you shrink down your aperture to create a deeper depth of field, you’ll be letting less light into your camera. To compensate, your camera may want to slow down your shutter speed to allow the proper amount of light for a good exposure. Remember, slow shutter speeds can introduce blur. Hence my suggestion to use a tripod on a day with no wind. While this type of photography may seem straightforward, there’s actually a bit of thought that needs to go into it. Full Manual mode may be called for, especially if you’d like to keep your ISO under 800, as I usually advise. To read about noise or grain in photography, please click through these two links:
Here, take a look at some great example photos.
Do you see how you can’t miss the subject of each photo? These are wonderful close up shots, so follow the photographers’ examples and head out to take some of your own.
When you complete this challenge, be sure to link to your images here for review and critique. Include your specs as well, such as your camera make and model, lens used, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. Include your distance from or scale of your scene as well. We want to know it all so we can get a grasp of what went on while you were shooting and how you managed to take your photos. Good luck.