Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Big Picture

When I became serious about photography four years ago, I was told very early on to "fill the frame". Once I saw the benefit of isolating a subject, I couldn't stop. In life I have no trouble "seeing the big picture", but in photography, give me the details, baby. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all styles of photography from landscapes, to black and white, to artfully processed. And while I marvel at all the different styles, I still end up zeroing in on the details for my own stuff. I went out the other day with the intent to think more about composition and landscape, and by the end of the hour I was back to zooming in like nobody's business. In short, I'm in a rut, photographically speaking.

Last night I was at a dinner for my husband's potential clients. I was nervous before going, and prayed that God would help me be at ease, since social situations with strangers make me nervous. With my stomach tied in knots and a pounding headache, I trusted that God would get me through the evening. No surprise, my ailments slowly evaporated as I held several wonderful, meaningful conversations with all four couples; two of which are birders! They were telling me when and where to go and promised to call if they saw the bald eagle they had spotted recently in our neighborhood. My husband was showing off one of my bird shots on his phone and one of the ladies lit up and said, "You're a photographer? I need someone to shoot a graduation party." My heart sunk because I can't shoot people. I explained that I'm a nature photographer, but I do want to learn how to do portraits and people. Maybe one day.

After focusing on the big picture (pardon the pun), I came to the realization that my fears prevent me from being successful and happy. So I decided to find a local class that teaches portraiture. Right now I have an email out to a private tutor that specializes in portraits, since the community college classes were online only.

Below are examples of my attempt to get the "big picture", and how each time I ended up with a detail oriented shot. I'm determined to break this habit and branch out! The same way God is helping me to overcome my social phobias, I am confident that He will guide me in this and all areas. I just have to ask!






Anyone know what kind of flower this is?


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50 comments:

Deanna said...

You are such a brilliant photographer that I know your portraits will hold that same enchantment. Keep us posted on your progress!! And such lovely images today!!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Yes, but you do it so well, its your forte. I DO LOVE your style and these pictures are beautiful.

Its the details that most folks do not get to see unless we get close.

I too am all about the zoom and details but trying to learn this
50mm f1.4 lens... you cant be all about the details too much. It sure makes you think before you shoot.

Maybe if you have a prime lens, attach that and go shooting and do not shoot anything closer than
15 feet.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Oh and, I too have the same problem and when I had to go with hubby to see a client, I almost lived in the bathroom from nerves. Getting out with my camera has helped some but I still freeze up if I get around too many people.

Praying for you and you do the same for me...K?

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Love these. Your pictures are always gorgeous - I wouldn't ever say you're in a rut!

Mitzi said...

I completely LOVE the sentiment of this post. Amazing how we are so much alike sometimes. I love the images as always...those last yellow flowers remind me of some sort of bug...maybe a crab...anyway...lovely as always Big hugs, xoxox (PS. all other sites are GONE...come follow me)

Pieni Lintu said...

So lovely photos.

TexWisGirl said...

good for you! your first 'bigger picture' is absolutely gorgeous. really.

beth said...

you're a beautiful photographer and i'm thrilled you want to learn more.....

if you learn to take portraits and don't love it, don't kick yourself. they aren't that easy and they aren't always fun. trees and plants and butterflies don't have opinions about themselves, people do....and satisfying them can be hard, hard work.

hugs !

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Beautiful shots- I really love that first one!

hootnonny said...

You go, girl! The classes will be fun! I love portraiture, but my opportunities are few.

I'm like you...miss the big picture focusing on that one piece of the pie. That I learned in my very first photo class, but since digital came along, I've learned to pull back some so I'll have proper cropping room.

These images are awesome!

Phil said...

Your images are just fine Gail. I think you have the big picture in words and photography - no kidding. I think you are right to take classes in portraiture though if you want to do it as it does look very difficult, or it appears so I when look at some of the "greats" at least.

Dina said...

The flower shots are beautiful! I feel the same way. I always want to take more landscape shots and end up spending the day zooming in.

I always tell my friends I don't take people pictures. Maybe when I retire.

Can't wait to hear how your classes go.

bailey-road.com said...

These are really lovely shots. The yellow flower is unique.

Buttons said...

Oh you are an amazingly talented photographer. I think you will be very good at "people pictures". I understand the stress I was asked by a close friend to photograph a snow shoe race I did not sleep for weeks I did not want to disappoint. I finally decided I would do my best and that was all I could do. I relaxed and enjoyed it. He was very pleased with the results and I have been asked to do it again this winter. Sometimes we just have to believe things will work out the way they are supposed to and trust that. It always seems harder in our imaginations. Good luck you can do it. B

bettyl said...

What a great lesson you learned. I hope you have much success in your photography future!

Kathy said...

If I had one-tenth of your talent I'd be pleased to say that I was a photographer.

Patrice said...

You and I have so much in common, Gail! I struggle with portrait photography, and I'm determined to get over that hump! Your florals are just stunning this week.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Your nature photos are more than brilliant. You will be just as great with the portraits after you find the right teacher (you're probably better right now than you think you are).

Thanks for sharing your journey (photography and personal).

Ruth said...

A beautiful post Gail and good for you for branching out...I found buying a different lens (35mm prime) forced me to take pictures differently...but I still love the details like you ;)

Linda said...

I say...if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The photos in this post are absolutely stunning. I can't imagine changing anything about them. If you're determined to branch out, though, maybe you could try taking multiple photos of the same subject, caving to your need for detail on at least one of them.

Danielle said...

Oh I am so excited for you!!! I am practicing with people but I plan on taking a course at some point...always on the learning curve. That flower is from a Cassia shrub/tree. I planted one in my back yard in memory of my father. It finally bloomed this year...I was out there yesterday snapping away...they have beautiful flowers...which you captured perfectly.

Mamabug said...

Gail, I love your close-ups! I just can't get into the big picture thing; I love to see the details in a small thing whatever it may be. Hugs!

Linda Makiej said...

Wonderful photos..... love the backside you show in the first few shots - so pretty!

Jesh StG said...

You filled the frame...and so much more! Love the strength of the colors in your shots:)

the wild magnolia said...

yellow - a happy color.

clarity such as I have never achieved.....beautiful shots.

Barbara said...

Gail, all of your photos are beautiful, and that's why I know your portraits will be beautiful, too. But I think it's great you're going to face your fears and take a class. The sky's the limit for you, sweet friend!

Daniel LaFrance said...

I'll say this much. You obviously don't see or realize just how good you are. We don't always have the right words to describe everything we see. When you shoot portraits, remember to keep doing what your're doing. Isolating and highlighting the charm, character, strength/weakness of the subject still applies to people. :)

ladyfi said...

As always, your shots are beautiful!

I think it depends on what kind of subject you are shooting as to whether you need to zoom in or not. The flower shots here are much more interesting zoomed in than taken wide. If you're shooting landscapes, then you need the whole picture.

So, keep on learning, but don't abandon your own style just because a book says so.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Well I think your photos are all fabulous, these are stunning, you have a talent for this type of photography. However I agree there is a lot to learn and I admire you for being interested enough to take classes to expand your repertoire.

Dianne said...

I would love to have you shoot my portrait, you see so much even if you think you narrow in too much

I think you're brilliant and honest and open
full steam ahead :)

Amy Burzese said...

I enjoy your style. But, it's great to branch out.

Starla said...

It's good to want to see the "big picture" BUT! You must remember it is the little details that your camera captures that MAKE UP THE BIG PICTURE. I think one reason I enjoy your photos so much is that you capture the details that so many forget to look at.

And enjoy learning to photograph people just for the joy of it. Don't stress if you find it isn't for you. Learn from it, contribute to it, but photograph what speaks to your heart.

Evelyn S. said...

Sorry to be late getting to your blog post! I clicked on it yesterday, but was in a hurry and I wanted to spend time reading what you had to say, so I delayed until this morning. :-) I am with you: I prefer the details. I have a new 85 mm lens and I keep asking myself why I bought it! I certainly can't do my close-ups with it. As for my details, though, they NEVER match the ones you capture. That yellow blossom is absolutely amazing in its detail. In fact, all of your images are so wonderful, Gail. Good for you for stretching your photographic world, though.

Autumn said...

Gorgeous yellow flowers! I love the second and third photos best of all. So very proud of you for getting over your fears and signing up for a class! It may open up a whole new set of opportunities for you. You should look at some famous portrait photography to figure out what grabs you in their photos, what stands out. It might be helpful!

Barb said...

I love your style of photography. While it's good to try new things I don't think there's anything wrong in doing what we do best!

Renae said...

Oh my word, Gail these photographs are amazing !!!!!!!! especially the close ups !!!!!!!!!! oh my wordy!!!!!!

Oh learn to do portraits. I bet you would be awesome. Do you know Anita at www.castlecrownsandcottages.com? She did a marvelous post this week about fears. Check it out, if you'd like.

Yes, I only want to trade my winter for your summer W/O the humidity. I love Utah's dry summer heat. I lived in Seattle area for 4 years and when it got over 85 degrees I would melt due to the humidity I couldn't tolerate. :(

Have a fabulous weekend, k?

Pieces of Sunshine said...

I love your "Big Picture" shots, you have caught wonderful atmosphere in those- your light and focus are gorgeous!

Sometimes we need to have a go at people shots as it turns out we probably have just as good an eye if not better than those who regularly do this type of photography. Teaming up with a one-on-one tutor sounds like the perfect solution to learning enough to make you feel more confident.

We have the same yellow flowers in our yard, they grow like weeds and I'm always trying to trim them back or dig them out (just as lantana is a weed here too).

Nancy Claeys said...

Well, I must agree with everyone that your photographs are always stunning. But there's no reason not learn something new and expand your talents. I know you will be great! xo

Linda R said...

Once again my friend your photos are fabulous. I am with you though. I really do hate to take photos of people. Way out of my comfort zone. I wish you the best at getting out of your comfort zone.

Hugs~

gardenwindow said...

Oh, I love the butterfly ones......so wonderful! Keep taking the close ups, just add the other stuff on top!

Rosemary Aubut said...

With all due respect Gail...these are freakin beautiful! Stay the way you are! Sneak in a portrait or two, careful no pore (pardon the pun )shots! You could create a couple of enemies! Love your spirit!

Mihaela Laitinen said...

wonderful! I love some colour during these colder times..

Jori said...

Fantastic shots! the details are absolutely stunning.

Stewart M said...

Great post - I think we can often get stuck in a rut with our pictures. I don't feel confident in taking portrait type images either.

Thanks for the comment on my blog - I've been in Oman for a week hence slow reply!

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

rainfield61 said...

You are a good photographer.

With another percent of confidence, you will be great.

Mary said...

Wow those are lovely. That yellow flower at the end is a wow species type as well. Good pics.

Ana Eugénio said...

sweet Gail your photos are exquisite. it's your eye. and you have the right to create your own style. yay! good for you on learning portraits. I love your spirit :) can what to see what that will bring to your style. happy Sunday :) xxo

Hilary said...

I think it's wonderful to see and capture the bigger picture but don't sell yourself short because you zoom in on the details that many of us miss. Macros photography is your style.. claim it proudly. Learn as you go but that doesn't mean you need to leave your zoom lens behind. :) Stunning shots here.. one and all.

Nina Bille said...

You capture the most beautiful images! Thank you for sharing your experiences, great you had a good evening, with all the things it started! Taking photos of nature feels natural to me as well, the portraits would be 'a foreign landscape' .., but the new territory will become familiar when you've gone about a while - I'm ecxited to hear about the course!

Stephanie said...

Hi there! I was visiting another blog when I happened to come across yours :) Your pictures are truly amazing and a delight to look at! I thoroughly enjoyed scrolling through your many pictures. I am now following you and I look forward to future visits. Have a lovely day!

Hugs,
Stephanie
www.theenchantingrose.blogspot.com