Look Closer

When you're out making images, it is really easy to fall into the habit of trying to capture grand scenes.  This can be especially true if the scene is a sweeping vista - like Denali, Alaska (Mt. McKinley, to you lower 48ers). denali, alaska, mt. mckinley, panorama

Sometimes, however, there is a picture in much closer to you.  It's OK to narrow your point of view.  Sometimes, you want to capture just the details in a scene.

close up of a little girl with cake on her face

You don't have to go as far as using a macro lens - even though that might allow you to see the really small details...

macro photo of a mushroom

You can use a normal lens, just get in close enough to limit the scope of the photo.  If you're always looking for the big pictures, you can miss simpler scenes around you.

wine glasses, along the Potomac River, Virginia

Abstracts, concentrating on lines and shapes, can be found all around you.  I like to look for something that will break them up a little, like the numbers on this stairway.

abstract staircase

You can keep the colors and lighting muted for a simple illustration photo.  Notice how few colors are in this shot and how the aspect of the light creates a "flatter" image.

Guild 12 string guitar

Or look for something bright and eye-catching.

peacock portrait

I've thrown in a broad range of subjects to try and show this technique can be used on anything you want to try.  You may be surprised at how many things are out there for you to see when you focus in closer.  Give it a try.  Instead of the always capturing the sunrise, look for the effects of the early morning light on a smaller part of your scene.  As always, it will keep you shooting and having fun.

cattails at sunrise, Elizabeth City, North Carolina