By Kerry Drager
By zeroing in on the smaller picture within the bigger view, you can spotlight graphic-design images such as patterns, lines, and abstracts. That's what makes close-up photography so visually intriguing! For example, in the accompanying Before and After series, I pulled a red-and-yellow pattern shot (After Close-up) out of the overall scene (Before Overall).
Light plays a role in creative close-up photography too. The harsh midday sunlight certainly wasn't inspiring as I made the Before image. For After Close-up, I chose an overcast day in order to take advantage of the soft light for capturing bold colors and fine details. Weather provided an added bonus: Rain drops created a nice feeling of freshness.
As for Depth of Field, I wanted to keep the red grille sharp while blurring the background behind the yellow grate. I settled on an "in-between" aperture of f9 - as opposed to a high f/number for a deep DOF or a low f/number for a shallow DOF. Depth of Field Preview is a good aid for fine-tuning the DOF, but not all d-SLRs have this feature. Other options include checking the LCD monitor, or experimenting with DOF via different f/stops and comparing the results later.
AFTER CLOSE-UP: Red & Yellow
Rainy day overcast; old red Jeep grille set against old yellow grate; 105mm; f9 at 1/13th sec; ISO 100; tripod; Nikon D2X
BEFORE OVERALL - big view on different day in midday sunlight