- Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
- Photography: Digital SRL Crash Course! - A Beginner's Guide to Understanding Digital Photography & Taking The Best Shots of Your Life
Photography is above all a visual storytelling medium. It's easy to get caught up in the joy of taking pictures and forget that. You can use it to capture large scenes or to focus on details. It's the details we want to cover this time, and specifically how it's done from a technical point of view.
Let's take an example that involves traveling. You will most likely want to capture the atmosphere of the places you visit and one of the best ways to do so is to have an eye for the little things. It's like taking the bigger puzzle and breaking it down into small pieces. It can be anything from a flower pot on the street, to details shots of someone cooking on the street. It's these little things that give the feel a genuine feel for the place.
Technically speaking, the way to photograph detailed subjects is to use selective focusing. Specifically, you want to frame in such a way that the subject will be separated from the background or foreground using bokeh. It's not just a matter of opening the aperture all the way, although this is a must, but it's also about carefully placing the focus point in the right part of the frame. Ideally you should do it with a f/1.4 or f/1.8 aperture, but you can do it with a kit lens as well with a little bit of practice.
Apart from the actual focusing technique, telling a story visually with details requires imagination and a trained eye. Having a keen sense of observation is also very important because if you don't pay attention, you can pass by some amazing stuff and not even know it.
(Success Tip #2:The secret to selling more photography with less effort)
Here's a great example of using selective focus for telling a story with photographer Mark Wallace in a video from Adorama TV.