Details are an important and often left out part of telling stories with our photography. I went to a fan event a couple of years ago at Guaranteed Rate Field (still Comiskey Park to me), home of the Chicago White Sox. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get some fun photos of the park without all people.
The big picture
Our first tendencies when we walk into a scene are to see the whole thing, the big picture. I wanted to get some wide shots of the stadium, the scoreboard and the field, of course, which I did. You want to be able to share the whole story of a place, location or event. Wide shots that include everything can do that very well. But, let’s not forget it takes many pieces to create the overall story.
Details are part of the story
Whether we are at an event, on vacation or wandering around our local city taking photos if you want to bring home the story of your trip or where you were you want to include all parts of the story, big and small. Sure we all like to see the Grand Canyon, but what about the details all around you? The colors of the rock, the texture and shapes of the old trees? How about the really cool doorknob you saw on some skyscraper? Did you meet someone along the way who shared a part of your day, your journey? Be sure to grab a shot of them as well.
The details are what draw me in. The scenes and things we all walk by without usually noticing. Shapes of things, not the things themselves. I like to look for and shoot the images most people don’t see or pay attention to. How do you find these things? Slow down, pay attention to your surroundings. Look for shapes, light and shadows that accentuate everyday items, like the seats in the ballpark. Look for unique reflective surfaces, put your camera on it and see what happens.
Another fun way to get yourself to see the details is to look for faces in things. They are everywhere. Coat hooks, bolts, spilled ice cream. Seriously, the more you start looking for faces, the more you’ll see all sorts of other details you never would have noticed before, and you’ll start seeing faces everywhere.
Photographing the details is also a great way to avoid crowds. You can zoom in and remove signs, people and distractions from your shot. Like the cover image, there were people around the trophy constantly but by using my Tamron 100-400mm lens, zooming in and focusing only on the flags, I was able to get an interesting image and anyone who knows baseball would still know what that was. Whether you are out for the day or traveling, remember to take images of the details to help tell your entire story.