Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photography: Landscape vs. Close-Up

Back before we hit the crazy swimming lessons/traveling/moving season we’re currently struggling through, I started experimenting with the modes on my new camera. I’m not ready for the advanced settings, so the modes seemed like a good place to start; I’m particularly interested in how switching between landscape mode (everything in focus from near to far) and close-up mode (flowers or small things in focus) can change the feeling of a photo.

(Please don’t think that my “Photography” posts are in any way designed to be tutorials. I simply like to take pictures and to talk about why I find certain photos interesting.)

These two pictures were taken at a park here in College Station, back when temperatures were such that we actually went outside for longer than 12 seconds.



And these two pictures were taken in the Lincoln Lodge wild flower garden in Northern Wisconsin. Thanks to my sis-in-law Chandi, who works as a florist in Vancouver, I now know that these flowers are called “Sweet Williams”. Hallie calls them “Will Sweeties”.



To me, the close-up photos feel true to life. The present (the in-focus subject) is clear and well-defined, but the future (the out-of-focus background) is mysterious. I don't know about you, but that sounds a lot like my day-to-day life.

In opposition, the landscape photos feel dreamy and distorted. The present is peacefully rejected in favor of a more defined future; what lies in the distance is clear, but is particularly intriguing and tempting because it seems to lie just out of reach.

What do you think?

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