Go Close

Most digital cameras have a macro mode that enables close focusing, usually less than a foot and sometimes less than an inch. With a zoom lens zoomed out it will not work so close, but with a telephoto you can get a large image without getting so close. A famous film editor, back in the 1930's, advised always getting close ups, perhaps a clock or a telephone, that he could edit into the story. That's good advice for present-day still photographers as well.

Candidates for interesting closeups include plates of food, market vegetables, souvenirs,  flowers, and foliage.  Here are some examples of wide and closeup photos of a scene. All of the closeup photos were hand held with macro mode and auto focus.

Dahlia Garden   Dahlia clise up

Cactus group   Cactus close up

Notice the cactus in the second row of the display selected for the closeup.

As a standalone image, the near shot or the far shot may be better. The point is that to appreciate a scene it often best to have both types.

Flowers are often best against a dark background, with side lighting or back lighting. If you are close enough the flower will fill the frame, as with the dahlia above, so the background is unimportant.


Hobbies provide opportunities for interesting close ups.  Stamp collecting, coin collecting, tying flys for fishing, and model railroading come to mind.

Heraldic dollar

This photo of an early U.S. dollar was taken with an inexpensive pocket camera.  The camera was selected with attention to its macro capability.

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