Details, details, details…

You know those beautiful landscapes and seascapes we love to photograph? They can be grand, magnificent, and awe-inspiring. I’m like most nature photographers who love the broad, grand views and vistas around us.

Haiti, taken from a cruise ship

But I also pay attention to details that are often missed – details that can be pretty cool photos in and of themselves.

Details of a Bird of Paradise

Beach Details

When I photograph people, besides the whole person I also like to isolate story-telling parts of the person. For example, I did a shoot of volunteer firefighters demonstrating some of their training exercises. Before the shoot started, I talked with each of them casually, to establish a rapport, a comfort level, and to get to know them as individuals, even if only a little bit. When I know a person beyond the “total stranger” stage, I can make a more intimate portrait. For example, the brave Captain below isn’t much of a talker, at least not with me during the shoot. But unbeknownst to him, I saw something in him, something that said to me “This man is deep. He has a lot on his mind. He doesn’t suffer fools. He commands and deserves respect.” I could be wrong, since I never had contact with again him since the shoot, but those are the perceptions I had of him that day, from observing his demeanor. I knew I had to find a way to photograph him in a way that wouldn’t make him feel self-conscious. I needed to catch him off-guard so that I could try to bring out the essence I felt he had inside of him. Whether I was successful or not, I don’t know. But this photo told a story, even if only to me. Same with the photos beneath it.


Firefighter in Gear

The Hands

And here’s one more example, to tie in my last blog entry about looking all around you. In this photo, I had finished spending a few hours in a wildlife sanctuary in New England, and was heading out for a much-needed bite to eat. As I walked the path leading out of the park, I looked down and something red caught my eye near the small creek. When I sat on the ground for a closer look, I saw the bubbles, shapes and patterns, and I photographed it. No, it doesn’t “tell a story,” but it was interesting enough to me to want to take the picture and see what happens. Maybe you like it, maybe not. But the worst picture is the one that you don’t take, right?

Bubbles and Shapes

There’s so much more to photography than aiming a camera and pressing the shutter release. It’s sort of like “take time to smell the roses.” Take time to look around, to really see, and if you’re not sure if it would make a good photograph, take it anyway – especially if you’re using a digital camera. What have you got to lose? The Delete button works! 🙂

Happy shooting!


~ by Karen Rosenblum on October 8, 2010.

One Response to “Details, details, details…”

  1. Every time I think I’m blown away by your pics, I look at another one of your blogs and see more pics that blow my mind! You are amazing!

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