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A famous saying is that if your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough. Although this is often the case, it is also possible to get too close. In the café-bar-restaurant Les Voyageurs in Martaizé, Roger was taken with the bright colours and 1950s formalism of the bar football table. His first picture, though, concentrated only on the players, as seen below.

As it turned out, concentrating on these perfect automata, who appear to be wearing collars and ties, was not successful: there wasn't enough context or indeed colour, and quite extensive post processing was required to 'bring up' the reds and blues.

The trouble with the picture above, though, is that he would almost certainly have done better with a smaller aperture and more depth of field than was afforded by a 50/1.5 Zeiss C-Sonnar at full aperture on his Leica M9. The original idea was to concentrate attention on the players and the knob on the shaft, but the plane of focus is too far torwards and depth of field is too shallow.

Only by constantly analyzing your own photographs can you make this sort of judgement. As we say repeatedly on this site, it is often difficult to say "This picture is good" or "This picture is bad," but it is usually quite easy to compare two pictures of the same subject matter and to decide which of them conveys the mood better. Quite often, too, you can see ways that the picture might have been better - or might not. The only answer, in many cases, is to look through the viewfinder, and (if you're shooting digital where it costs you nothing) to take the picture as well.

Other examples of this sort of analysis on this site are the pictures of the aeroplane in the module on creating the illusion of movement in a still life, and the typewriter on the séjour table. One of the points that the typewriter module makes, indeed, is exactly the same as this module: sometimes, you can get too close.

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© 2010 Roger W. Hicks