Many DSLR cameras and even compact digital cameras have a shooting mode for close-ups. This is a fun and creative way to take pictures!
A great subject deserves a lot of exploration, such as this gift shop in downtown San Francisco. I like to start with a wide-angle lens view to tell the "whole story" and then move in for the wonderful details. There were paper lanterns, kites, and all kinds of interesting things inside the shop, including this collection of happy Buddha statues. I like the meaning behind the smiling Buddha - contentment, prosperity, luck, and of course, happiness!
With this image, I focused on the first figure using a wide aperture, which allowed the rest of the composition to be portrayed as a soft and pleasing blur. Using a shallow depth of field lets the first figure stand out from the rest. The out-of-focus background plays a support role for the main subject, the happy Buddha. As a tripod and large camera wouldn't easily fit inside the store, a compact digital camera was the perfect solution for this fun close-up shot!
Make great pictures! ~ Deb
Note: Deborah Sandidge teaches online photo classes at BetterPhoto's digital photography school online.