move in closer

Getting in Close

Cat’s Eye, Edit B

Our eye must constantly measure, evaluate. We alter our perspective by a slight bending of the knees; we convey the chance meeting of lines by a simple shifting of our heads a thousandth of an inch…. We compose almost at the same time we press the shutter, and in placing the camera closer or farther from the subject, we shape the details – taming or being tamed by them.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson – on composition. “American Photo”, September/October 1997, page: 76

Another way of getting a very close view of your subject, as in this shot, is to crop the image to include the ‘main subject’ AND DISCARD the rest.

The cropping method is also a safer way of photographing when your subject is an ‘eye’, which is highly sensitive to light (don’t want to damage anyone’s eye by being careless). I backed up the light considerably on this macro shot, and then positioned the light at a slight angle (the light is off-camera). In the final image (shown here), the main subject remains, and the rest was cropped. You can see the ring-flash makes a cool catch light in the eye.

The freedom to liberally crop brings up an important point in favor of high megapixel cameras: A high-MP camera (12 or 16 megapixels for example) is beneficial, because there is plenty of room for cropping…the original image will give you more leeway for tight cropping than a camera with less megapixels, naturally.

This image was shot with a Canon G2 (4.1MP), so the original image was not very large; thus, the initial image needed to be very accurate and the main subject positioned to take up more space in the frame. Therefore, less cropping was necessary. It would have been nice, however, to have the “freedom to liberally crop.”

Over all, when shooting for detail, move in close; and if that is not possible (or safe), then considering cropping the image to get to the main subject.