Lens-Artists Challenge #190 – Close and Closer
“A photographer’s eye is perpetually evaluating.”Henri Cartier-Bresson
This week Patti encourages us to get closer to our subjects – using our “foot-zoom” as well as longer lenses or a judicious crop. As photographers, we tend to look at the world a bit differently. We focus on light, color, detail, and the little gifts that we often find within the big picture. For example, in the image above visitors will appreciate the beauty of the scene, some the texture of the ancient stones or perhaps the colorful flowers and art. But when most look on the right side of the image, they may not notice this:
“To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It’s a way of life.”Henri Cartier-Bresson
As photographers we see details such as that shown in the image above and wonder how many hands have touched those doors…when were the gates added and why…were they added to keep people out or people in…are there people living there now….who crafted the gate and chose the beautiful color…..you know what I’m talking about, right?
“I try to capture something from my subjects that’s real. It’s the eyes that tell that.”Corinne Day
In Jordan we visited Petra and Wadi Rum among other places. I was honestly a bit intimidated by how “foreign” it felt. I’m very shy about approaching strangers but I knew the image above really didn’t tell the story. I stepped outside of my usual self and approached the two men above to see if I could include them in an image. Here’s what happened:
“Every picture tells a story, don’t it?”Rod Stewart
I was reminded that day that people are people everywhere and wearing a keffiyeh doesn’t make them any different or scarier. I also learned that as we are often told, most people, when asked to allow a photograph, will happily oblige. Finally, I was reminded that almost always, coming in closer will result in a stronger image.
“The photographer is one who uses his/her eye as first camera and takes the camera to use, secondly.”Moses Oliver
For nature photographers, it can be challenging to zero in on our subjects. A fawn simply will not allow us to get any closer than I was in the image above. It can help to start shooting from a distance, and to continue shooting while slowly walking closer and closer. As such, although this little one allowed me to get relatively close, the final option is to crop the image to get closer still, as I did for the image below.
“Although technology has made everything easier, good images still depend on the creative eye.”Lakshman Iyer
Shown below, one final example of the effect of closing in on a subject. A fresh field of daisies is hard to resist. My three images below show the daisies as part of the big picture, then close in, and finally creatively cropped.
“Photography is the only “language” understood in all parts of the world, and bridging all nations and cultures…We become the eye-witnesses of the humanity and inhumanity of mankind.”Helmut Gernsheim
On a more serious note, earlier this week there was a news story about photographers covering the war in Ukraine. It featured a number of them along with several of their heartbreaking images, and spoke to the importance and difficulty of their work. Each of them discussed the emotional toll of standing side-by-side, braving danger, along with the people whose lives are in ruin. They are indeed the “eye-witnesses of the humanity and inhumanity of mankind.” Think about it….how much would we know or feel if not for them?
Thanks to Patti for such an interesting challenge – be sure to link your responses to her original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Thanks also to those of you who responded to last week’s Odds and Ends challenge. It was such fun seeing the images that have been hiding in your archives enjoying their moment in the sun! Ann-Christine will lead us next week on her Leya post so be sure to visit her next Saturday at noon Eastern Time. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.
Interested in joining the Lens-Artists Challenge? For more information, click here.