Move in Close – Digital Photography Tip of the Week

Over the past couple of weeks, I have talked about framing your subject for printing and cropping your photos using software. This week I will talk about getting close to your subject.

Moving in on a subject is a quick and easy way to make a more dramatic photograph. It isolates your subject eliminating a lot of unnecessary elements from your image. Getting close to your subject can be done either by physically moving closer to them with your camera or by zooming in. There are some reasons for either scenario that get a little more complicated than I want to approach with these tips so you should try both of them. After a while, you can get a feel which works better in different situations. Remember not to get so close that you no longer get your subject in clear focus. Also, if you are using the zoom on your camera, avoid digital zoom as it will degrade your image quality as I discussed in a previous tip.

Moving in to create a more dramatic photo

In the above example, on the left you can see children playing in background, a tree limb which does not help the picture, and some sort of inflatable structure. The picture on the right is the same picture, cropped to show how it could have looked. All of the distracting elements from before have been removed and the subject for this photo is now clear. As well as creating a more dramatic image, getting closer to your subject will also help to eliminate bright or dark spots in your photo that could cause your camera to expose the shot wrong. In this case, becase the subjects were in the shadow of a tree with a bright background, the camera made the subject too dark as it tried to average the lighting in the scene. If I had zoomed in before taking this shot, the sujbects would have filled the viewfinder and I would not have had an exposure problem with this image.

Next week I talk about the opposite of this, backing away from your subject.


The digital photography tip of the week is written by the PCIN Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time photographer and is currently the vice-president of the Niagara Falls Camera Club. You can see more of his photography at his Photo of the Day website.
If you have a tip to send Chris, or a question about digital photography he can address in the newsletter, send it to

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