Crop in tight on details
What ’s the Big Idea?
You don’t have to travel far to capture great landscape images – sometimes, your own back garden may be far enough. There might not be scope for a traditional wide-angle landscape, but if you take the time to look closer at details, you can create interesting images. Details of plants and flowers in your garden can take on a very different look when you crop in tight. When composing your image, look for patterns and design in nature.
When you’re travelling further afield, don’t forget to look closely for details that will sum up the place in one photo. Elements that are evocative of a location, such as local fruit or spices, colourful hats, handmade blankets, shells or other natural elements can make striking images. I think of making photographs in terms of telling a story about a place. What is it that the location is particularly known for?
What ’s the Key?
I prefer to crop in camera when I take my close-ups, rather than cropping in postproduction. This way you are capturing the most information possible, instead of throwing some of it away afterwards. The beauty of taking close-ups of details is that you can use just about any lens. Many telephotos will focus fairly close to eliminate distracting elements and concentrate solely on the details. Normal lenses will easily focus close-in, and even wideangle lenses can get really close to the subject to create an unusual perspective.
In this image of a white picket fence and traveller’s palm I wanted to show the contrast between man-made and natural patterns. The image on the left was shot with a normal lens and doesn’t work photographically. Not satisfied with this attempt, I changed lenses to a short telephoto to crop in tighter on just the details I wanted to show, eliminating the distracting elements behind the palm.