Sometimes the part is greater than the whole

I have discovered that I much prefer taking pictures of small objects and parts of objects – sometimes details that have nothing to do with the functionality of the object itself – than of large, whole structures. I wonder whether any research has been done into the psychology or aesthetics of this – might it reflect a particular attention to detail or an inability or unwillingness to see the “bigger picture”? Do I worship the god of small things, or is the devil in the detail? Alternatively, should I just invest in a wide-angle lens and leave the philosophizing to someone more capable?

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6 Comments

Filed under Memes & blogging challenges, Photography, Up close and personal

6 responses to “Sometimes the part is greater than the whole

  1. I think it has a lot to do with stimulating the imagination. That’s why a book can take you deeper than a film or an impressionistic painting can move you so much more than a photograph-like painting.

  2. squonky

    I wouldn’t over-analyse, but that’s just me :^)

    I reckon you just have a great eye for form, and I have to say a great eye for colour too. When I look at your Flickr photostream then generally speaking the first thing that I notice is wonderfully rich and vivid colours. I wish I knew how to expose for colours like that (or maybe that’s just British light for ya – heh). But you do also notice the things that I seem to just walk right by, reflections in sunglasses & hubcabs and yes, shape and form in an abstract of an object or group of objects which is pleasing and draws the eye in. I’m not sure whether that’s something I can train myself to see or whether it’s just a natural talent. It’s one of the reasons I started my 365. I actually think that sometimes I can see like that, but a lot of the time I’m in too much of a hurry. I need to slow down.

    Oh, and you certainly should invest in a wide angle lens *nods sagely*. It would go well with the new bike. Go and shoot some lovely landscapes on your bike rides :^) Well, that’s if you can lug the DSLR with you – if not then maybe a compact with a good wide angle on it as a next best thing. Actually wide angle is great for getting up close to stuff too – call it wide angle macro. I’m missing my 10-20mm for the goofy effects I used to get out of it when going in very very close.

    • 2010photography

      A great image Bexxi.

      I agree whole heartedly with Chris. You seem to have this sixth sense with imagery.

      I highly recommend the Sigma 10-20 for cropped sensors. It too was one of my favourite lenses for ages. Since mine moved on Tracey ‘just had to’ get one she loved it so much. Now Tracey and Jack fight over it. 🙂

      • Mark, I will make a note of that lens and look into it when camera investments next come around as a priority (rather than bikes ;))

    • Thank you, Chris. I must have a magpie gene somewhere, or – feminists please look away at this point – maybe it’s the XX chromosome, as my eye (and camera lens, by extension) is drawn to anything bright and shiny, from a mile off, as being a MUCH more interesting potential image than many other things closer by.

      As regards the colours thing: well, firstly I prefer to go out shooting when it’s sunny, and I tend to clap on the polarizer whenever it is. The other key is to underexpose slightly so that you have more depth to build on in your colours.

      I got my old 300D out recently for someone else to use, and although the kit lens on it is hardly fantastic, it does go down to 18mm, so that certainly would give me a bit more of a wide-angle capacity than I presently have. A new lens will take some saving…

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