Trite but True #12: Get closer

For years I heard portrait photographers recommend getting closer to the subject. I read Robert Capa’s advice: “If your picture isn’t good, get closer.” I noticed that great outdoor photographers like John Shaw and Bruce Dale applied this principle in many of their best works. Filling the frame with the subject helps it dominate competing objects, reveals intimate textures and details, and simplifies the composition.

Notice how getting closer pushes the abstract geometry of the Very Large Array to the fore and creates a more striking image:

To get closer, just walk toward the subject, right? Yeah if that doesn’t change the perspective unduly … or if the subject is not the opposite rim of the Grand Canyon. We can also get closer by zooming in or using a longer focal-length lens. Or we can crop the resulting image more tightly. After all, what are those megapixels for if not to give us leeway to produce powerful images?

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