28 : Details



It's in the details...

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This lesson is a conceptual challenge everyone can embrace! An eye-opening exercise in photography is to look for smaller details within a larger picture. Your child’s bedroom, for example, is made up of a myriad of smaller details. There may be trinkets on his dresser, a favorite stuffed animal, a pile of special books, or a bulletin board filled with ticket stubs and special pictures. Each of these things represents something important to your child and can be photographed to tell his story.

You can look for details within any larger picture or idea. When documenting your child making sugar cookies, for example, you might include an image of her fingers taking a sneaky taste, a close-up of the rolling pin on the dough, and an image of the sprinkles. When photographing a newborn baby, you’ll want to be sure to include an image of the baby’s feet, eyelashes, hands, and lips. When capturing a day at the beach, you’ll want to include close-ups of the sandcastles built, little toes in the sand, and the seashells that were gathered.

Consider Special Equipment

  1. Macro lens While not necessary for capturing detail shots, macro lenses allow us to photograph smaller things with beautiful clarity. Be warned, macro lenses can be quite expensive.
  2. Macro filters These filters are a less expensive way to get your feet wet in the world of photographing details, typically running between fifteen and twenty-five dollars. They are magnifying glasses shaped to screw onto the front of your lens just like a lens filter. A macro filter will magnify your subject to reveal a surprising amount of detail.
  3. Extension tubes Tubes are another way to explore macro photography without breaking the bank. They are attached between the camera body and the lens to transform your favorite lens.
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Whether you have special equipment or not, seeing and capturing details is a powerful way to dive deeper into the story you're documenting. Once you begin looking for details in the world around you, you'll find a whole new world open up before your eyes!


Creative Prompts

  • Think tangentially when photographing the little things. Not every detail has to directly relate to your main subject. For example, when photographing your child on a beautiful spring day, you may want to capture a close-up of some colorful blossoms. Displayed together, a picture of the blossoms will enhance the images of your child and contribute to the story at hand.
  • Build on your knowledge of perfecting focus to isolate a specific detail or feature within a bigger picture.

Share your images!

As always, we look forward to seeing your images in the Facebook group! If you have never posted a picture, it's fine to start any time. The Facebook group is a positive, no-judgement zone. We also hope that reach out for advice or help if you need it!