[Tip] Don’t be afraid to get close


A few weeks ago, I went to a large garden in the Chicago area and snapped these photos. It was my first time there and I didn’t know what to expect, what gear to bring, and I didn’t want to spend the day carrying a lot of my photography stuff. I took the safe choice and brought with me a telephoto lens (Sigma 18-250mm). I figured this would let me capture a wide variety of shots and be ready for almost anything. I wasn’t sure exactly how close I would be able to get to the plant life in the garden, which is why I didn’t bring one of my prime lenses.

Having my zoom lens, I had plenty of flexibility to compose my shots. However, if you looked through my photos from the garden, you’ll notice they’re all very tight shots, revealing the details in the flowers. Some portions are even cropped off. Some flowers I could reach out and touch, others were distant. In either case, I zoomed in when I needed to and got as close, both physically and with my composition, to the flowers as I could. Being able to zoom in on my subject helped me to produce a shallow depth of field. Zooming in on your subject or opening your aperture wide will give you a shallow depth of field.

When you shoot flowers with your favorite camera, son’t be afraid to get close with your shot. Zoom in to isolate the portions of the flower that drew you in in the first place. If you can, get as close as possible. The subject of the photo is the most important, it’s OK to ignore the background. Cropping small pieces off at the edges is OK too. The best photos draw your audience in and guide their eyes to what you want them to see. Minimizing the background is a great way to ensure what your audience see is exactly what you want them to.

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