Photo of the Week - Big Picture

September 16, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I'm a detail person.  I notice the small things and react to them. 

In a work situation, this can be a good thing because it leads me to find and catch mistakes or inconsistencies, and to ask enough questions to understand what needs to be done and why.

In photography, it can be an issue.

My photographic process is to generally wander around somewhere until something interesting catches my eye.  Some detail in a scene strikes me.  That, then, becomes the subject of my photograph.  Anything that does not help highlight that subject then is removed or de-emphasized as much as possible.  This translates to zoom/cropping in the camera and determining the correct depth of field.

The problem with this approach is that you can lose sight of the big picture.  There is not only the flowers that you see, but the entire garden in which they are planted.  You can literally miss the forest for the trees.

Here's an example:

Click to purchasePelicans and Gulls

I was walking along a beach in Mexico when I came across this scene.  Pelicans and seagulls in abundance.  So, carefully (since I was using film at the time and didn't want to scare them away), I start shooting.

Click to purchasepelican

Click to purchasepelican

Click to purchasepelican

I love the pelicans and make sure to get some good shots.  Together and separately.  Maybe get some of the seagulls and/or the rocks (I can't find all the slides from the trip, so those aren't here to see).

And, I love these portraits.

My point, though?  You can guess what the last photo I took was, right?  It only occurred to me after spending a long time taking in all the details that I should try and capture the entire scene.  The first photo in this post was the last one I took.  And, in some ways, it is the most essential because it conveys the setting; what it feels like to walk along the beach and come across the scene. 

Always try to remember and capture the Big Picture.


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