Get close. You know you want to.
I've said it before, to myself mostly. Don't move in too close. Give yourself room. Leave space so you can crop the shot if you need to. But then it happens. That face, a sleeping baby, a lovable dog and it's over. There I am on my stomach with the camera just inches away. Of course there are lenses where I wouldn't have to do it this way. I could grab the 35-100mm.
But it doesn't start like this. It begins with grabbing the camera and planning on documenting life as it is. I've got the 17mm in my hand. Next thing you know, these amazing faces pull me in. Close.
Sometimes it's not even human or pet. Architectural elements can grab me too.
A Facebook memory popped up the other day. It was a tight shot of an enamel light fixture mounted on a tin ceiling. Sure, other people may have a Facebook memory of a vacation or a party, but no, not me, it's a light fixture.
And then again, recently, I found myself distracted from a great Hampton Mansion tour guide's narration while I focused my attention on the fantastic hand painted detail on a vase. Get close. Get even closer.
Flowers are another example. A flowering bush can be wonderful. I love a beautiful landscape, but if you can capture the pistil and stamen it's a different experience. Elements that are often overlooked become the focus (no pun intended) of your shot, they're details that draw you in.
All kinds of subjects draw me in. The close-up of the hot jamon croquette- so hard to resist at La Cuchara. A piece of jewelry created out of love, the airy lace details of the christening gown handed down from generations, or the colorful bird feathers gathered along a summer hiking trail become all the more special when your photo shares a more intimate glimpse.
Take the wide shots, but don't be afraid to change it up. Take a couple extra shots while on your stomach, inching up on your subject. Hover over the opening tulips. Zero in on a single cherry tomato or the bubbles in that sparkling glass of champagne with a tight shot.
Get close. Get even closer.