Lost in the Details

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Christopher Martin. Lost in the Details. This challenge is about getting lost…

Photo courtesy of Christopher Martin

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Photo courtesy of Christopher Martin

Photo courtesy of Christopher Martin

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Christopher Martin.

Lost in the Details. This challenge is about getting lost in the details. Once you’ve found a subject you want to photograph, challenge yourself to work a little further into the scene. Here, I use a landscape as an example, but this approach can be applied to other types of photography.

Landscape view of Elbow Falls. Photo courtesy of Christopher Martin.

Landscape view of Elbow Falls. Photo courtesy of Christopher Martin.

These two photographs are of Elbow Falls in Kananaskis Country in the Rocky Mountains, west of Calgary, Alberta. The draw of this location is the waterfall, and often, people are satisfied with the landscape view (shown on the right). But Elbow Falls is a place where there are many opportunities for great photographs beyond the obvious — you just have to push yourself to find them.

On one visit, I walked along the river’s edge above the falls, searching for details. As I observed the dark water, an arch of ice, only a couple of feet wide, caught my eye. The ribbons of colors and the textures in the ice were beautiful, and I enjoyed zooming in on this small landscape (above).

Working into a scene allows me to leave with a photograph that I really like. So, I challenge you to go out and spend extra time getting lost in the details — and finding a great shot.


Tip: Get low. In photographing details in a landscape, lower the camera close to the ground to see its impact on the composition. Whether you are using a digital SLR, a compact camera, or the camera on your phone, getting low changes the way elements relate to each other. In the image of the ice and the river, I sat down so the lens was close to level with the arch of blue ice. From a higher angle, the ice looked smaller in relation to the water; by changing my position, I was able to balance those two primary parts in a way I preferred.

Move the camera around to see how a scene changes. Get low, or reach higher for that matter, and bring out the details that are often hiding in plain sight.

Christopher MartinI am a nature photographer living on the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains in a small town near Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. I enjoy photographing landscapes and wildlife in the mountains, the prairies, and almost anywhere else I travel, alone or with my wife and children. My current images and portfolios can be viewed at my blog at I can also be found on Twitter @kananaskisphoto


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    1. Since that photo was taken, that lens has been dropped on pavement while chasing a story. You could take it but you’d have about 20 pieces that don’t all quite fit together 😦

      Thanks for commenting and for the kind words.


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