Cornwall - April 8, 2012 - One of the decisions a photographer must make is whether a particular subject should be photographed up close or farther away. Both visions are quite different, and to illustrate those differences seventeen photographs accompany this article, nine taken up close and eight showing distance. The first photograph illustrates the subject at very close range, a portrait of two Canada geese.
There are a myriad of cameras on the market, some with one lens that may have a macro mode for extreme close up picture taking as well as a zooming capacity for subjects at a distance; and other cameras have various attachable lenses available for specific purposes such as macro, regular, and zoom, etc.
Photographing up close has its advantages revealing tremendous detail, textures, lines, and shades of colours. The photographer has to be mindful though of the subject’s proportion, which is paramount. Sometimes, being too close will cause the subject to look distorted with one part being too large and another part too small; or the subject may look flat with no depth to the image. Symmetry is important, so that all parts of the subject are in balance and blending in relation to one another. For example, the heads and bills of both Canada geese must be kept in proportion with the size, structure, and substance of their necks.
To lessen the chance of distortion, one can draw the camera back from the subject before snapping the shot, or use a zoom where the photographer is well away from the subject yet through the camera lens the subject looks much closer. Another alternative is to crop the image to the desired magnification. Other pictures showing the close range effect are: looking down into an iris flower, a cardinal, beaver, hummingbird, red-tailed hawk, winged insect, Royal mute swan, and mourning dove.
On the other side of the coin, it’s nice to photograph certain subjects and scenes with a distance effect. The subject can be either stationary, moving away from the camera, or coming toward the camera. Looking at the final image product after it has been photographed, a viewer’s eye is drawn deep into the overall picture from close proximity to far away. For example, a brook which flows away from the camera through the countryside should give the observer the impression of length and depth of the brook. Eight pictures have been included as examples: a golf course on the other side of a pond, a long shoreline, ice fishing huts stationed near and far, a rural road that goes off in the distance, a picnic table on the bank of a frozen river, a harvest scene, and a fall scene.
Whether your choice is up close or in the distance, it’s a fun choice to make with your photographic subjects. Both techniques are very effective.
Looking down into an iris flower
Winged insect on a flower
Royal mute swan
Golf course on the other side of a pond
A long shoreline in winter
A brook meandering through the countryside
Ice fishing huts stationed near and far
A rural road goes off in the distance
A picnic table on the bank of a frozen river
Harvest season rolls around again