No, it's not a late night info-mercial about a new mop that picks up pet hair with one stroke.
SCUFI - Shoot Close Up For Impact - is part of a thought process kept in the brain of a photographer about a possible way to photograph a subject. It is also a way to add impact to a photograph.
What Exactly Is SCUFI?
Shooting close restricts the field of view of the photo. It also makes the subject larger, and is often tightly cropped. It shouldn't be confused with Macro photography, as the magnification ratio for Macro is different.
Using the close up of a Monarch butterfly below (we actually raise Monarchs from June through October here), at a Macro level you would be able to see every wing scale. but with a 105mm lens, simply walking up as close as the focal length (and the butterfly) will allow for a clear picture, takes focus off the entire field of view and brings it right down to the butterfly. I like the 105mm for close ups because it does give you great detail, like the water droplets on the flower.
The Monarch caterpillar was taken with a 50mm pressed up against the habitat container. (Click on the images to view them larger.)
When you have a small subject it might be a good idea to get as close as you can to focus more on the subject and limit the field of view. It often gives the subject MORE IMPACT!
The third photo above, Mr. Toad, is a regular summer-to-fall visitor and loves to try and hide from me either in the patio flower pots or old, fallen leaves. I think he has gotten pretty good at posing. He stays very still when I approach to make me think he is a leaf.
He's a small subject, and without moving up close you might not see him camouflaging himself in this colorful surrounding.
Sometimes older dogs will have infirmities that their owners might not want to appear in photographs. Or if a dog has just had surgery and the hair around the surgical site has not yet fully grown back to normal, then taking a close up might be a way to highlight what is special about the dog without including these things.
Sure, we can use photoshop or post processing to fill in the gaps, but there is nothing like capturing the "real" subject. I will often discuss things with an owner, finding out exactly what they'd like shown (and not shown) in a photo, if a dog has any issues. Same with kitties.
This past week, knowing the upcoming blog topic, I enlisted two of our cats to participate in the up close photo task.
So that's it for this week's jaunt into getting up close and personal. Let's see what the rest of the circle has to say about the topic, starting here with Angela of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, Washington, going back to basics with dog portrait sessions.
Enjoy your weekend! Spring is right around the corner and down the hill.