Saturday, January 23, 2010

13 Ways to Better Photos...DAY 6 {details}

day 6 details celebration detail

So I’ve driven this point into the ground: let your photos tell a story.

What does this photo tell you?


It tells me enough that I can make up a story about it with the few details that I know. It tells me about the location, the era, the age of the person. But you know what else I’d love to see?

day 6 details now a cpt rank

I’d love to see a close-up of this uniform. I’d love to see what shoes he was wearing—how dirty they were. I’d love to see what his hands looked like…what car brought him to this location…what the bricks on that building looked like up close. Maybe I’m a bit over-the-top when it comes to details…but I’ve noticed something…

day 6 details now a cpt

I’ve noticed that when we take vacations, I DO tend to focus on the details. I take pictures that most people would think are quite weird. Like our shoes. And the sidewalk. And the food we eat. And the pillows on the hotel room bed. And even at home I take pictures of the toilet paper. And the dirt Jon tracks in the house on his boots.




our monthly stock of onions & potatoes

jon practicing guitar by computer-light

WHY? Because all of these things MEAN SOMETHING. they mean more than a picture of a skyscraper. They mean more than a photo of faces, sometimes too. That old saying “The beauty is in the details” is really true for photography. And focusing on them highlights the little wonders of the World…Wonders of YOUR World—the ones important in your life. And the ones that we tend to pass over every day without a second glance.

day 6 details celebration details focus on the THING instead of the person

For some reason, having that camera in hand makes all the difference.

On a trip? This is a PRIME opportunity to experiment taking photos of things you normally wouldn’t: the bed when you get up in the hotel each morning, the coffee you drank for breakfast, the fabulous cupcake you had for dessert, what you did in your spare time…

lombardi's pizza, NYC

day 6 details on a trip 3

day 6 details on a trip 2

day 6 details on a trip

day 6 details trip

day 6 details event-fishing

On a date? Use your self-timer! Find reflective surfaces to get both of you in the photo. Take pictures of you holding hands. Take pictures of your dinner, your shoes, of the restaurant.

day 6 details reflection 1

day 6 details place taking a break


On a walk? What a great opportunity to notice the little details within just blocks of your house! Take pictures of what you carried, the street you walked on, even the texture of the ground: dirt? Cement? Rocks?

day 6 details surface snow

day 6 details it was snowing

day 6 details surface & event

day 6 details surface & activity

At home? What little details of your house, corners of your home, or memory-provoking-items have you not photographed &/or written about?

day 6 details place i was sick

At a BBQ? The possibilities are endless…

day 6 details bbq people

day 6 details bbq drinks

day 6 details bbq grill

day 6 details bbq games

The concept of “Project 365” was not my idea. But I quickly jumped on the bandwagon when I knew that Jon & I would, literally, miss a YEAR of each other’s lives. I wanted him to see (via this blog) that I was okay. And I wanted to share in the somewhat mundane of my everyday with him—since he wouldn’t be here to experience it alongside me. Although the ‘work’ of remembering to take a photo everyday is much easier because I’m doing it for something (i.e., Jon!), it is the concept behind it that I fell in love with: documenting the everyday.

I would so treasure photos of what my great-Grandmother did everyday of her life. Did she quilt? Journal? What books did she read? What did her closet look like? Did she keep flowers in her house? And what did the inside of her home look like?

Long ago, I talked myself out of taking photos for future generations. I know many people do, but I don’t want to be so attached to the ‘responsibility’ of documenting my life for our future family members...not to mention the fact that I don't even know if they will care. So I promised myself that all this picture-taking would just be for US. that’s it! and I know that at the end of this year when I print a photobook of the 365 days that Jon & I were apart, I’ll rest well knowing that anytime he wants to, he can open the book & know what quirky things filled my days when he couldn’t share them with me.

Pictures have the incredible ability to evoke strong memories. Those “Kodak Moments” (& well, the Kodak commercials sometimes) have the ability to draw out emotion in a unique way. What better way to remember things than through photos. So don’t ignore the mundane. Don’t pass by the seemingly boring. Take the opportunity to look through that viewfinder…& soon enough you’ll be seeing life in a series of pictures. And when you decide to snap the shutter, remember that you are doing more than taking a photo—you are (as cliché as it sounds) freezing memories in time.

This post is part of a photography series...
Day 1 {angle}
Day 2 {the golden rule}
Day 3 {composition}
Day 4 {lighting}
Day 5 {perspective}

1 comment:

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