Saturday, June 12, 2010

Photo thoughts 6 -- close-ups

Finally, let me talk about extreme close-up pictures. Not sure that really counts as a genre but I find them fascinating, ever since I discovered how to use the macro shooting mode. Unfortunately this occurred many years into my digital camera experience, which should teach me to read the user manual more carefully.

Close-ups are great for showing the beauty of a single leaf or blossom (no wonder they use a picture of a flower as the icon for macro mode). They are great for revealing textures.

I like close-ups for two somewhat contradictory reasons: they allow you to see detail and thus understand things better, but they also can fool you by concealing the whole of what you’re looking at.  They can help orient you, but be profoundly disorienting if there is no context. 

Sometimes it's nice to include a detail to help viewers figure out what they're looking at, but sometimes I like photos that are hard to read.


  1. I love super details. It shows an alternate universe. These are great inspiration references.

  2. Texture. I love texture. The rusty welded joint makes my heart sing.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  3. It took me a long time to find out about my macro setting also. I really like that group of photos.