By Kerry Drager
Since I'm not always able to visit beautiful cities and parks, I often "exercise" my photographic eye with close-to-home subjects! This means looking beyond the bigger view for the smaller pictures - in particular, shots that emphasize patterns, lines, repetitions, or abstracts.
For example, an abandoned 1942 Ford truck has been the subject of many of my close-ups. In one image, I added pumpkins to create a fall-color "still life" filled with form, line, and the warm-and-waning light of late day. I also used a wide aperture (low f/number) to achieve a shallow Depth of Field - sharp pumpkins, blurry background.
For the other image, I zeroed in tight with my macro lens on a colorful abstract of textures, peeling paint and rust. The soft light of shade - plus a polarizing filter to cut glare - helped boost colors. I also used a high f/number to keep everything sharp.
Another benefit to exploring "everyday" surroundings: It's fun! And the next time I venture far from home, I'll be ready to see - and capture - the graphic-design images that great cities and national parks have to offer!
Note: Check out online photo courses: Creative Light and Composition and Creative Close-ups. More on BetterPhoto.com: online photography school, online Photoshop courses, online photo sharing and camera clubs.
Fall Color & Old Truck - (c) Kerry Drager
Soft late-day sunlight; f4.5 for shallow DOF; 50mm; tripod
Peeling Paint Abstract - (c) Kerry Drager
Old truck in late-day shade; f22 for sharpness throughout; ISO 100, 50mm, polarizer, tripod