Can you just focus?

What does that mean to you? I guess it might depend where you are, what you are doing and who you might be speaking to.


In photography, we may traditionally think focusing on detail means to look closer, or use a macro setting. It does, and isn’t it also relative to interpretation? I was reminded of exactly that, this morning, on a walk with that he in my we.  He simply asked me if I had seen that. I indicated how cute it was only to get the confused stare and his response regarding the  Porsche Panamera that had passed.   I laughed telling him about the hummingbird that had buzzed us. 

I should have known.  To him every little detail about cars and how they work is his focus on our walks, not to mention he knows where every cool car in the neighborhood lives.

Meanwhile I am happily trying to name all the hummingbirds.  

So what are we looking for in a photograph? It might be something close as the detail in the Agave above suggests. And it might also be a closer look at composition, mood or uniqueness.

Focusing on Detail in Photography:

  1. Framing: Sometimes detail comes in the shape of a door or window. The view on the inside is spectacular, and maybe it is the frame itself that is the motivation. For me it seemed very much like an invitation.

2. Mood: What is the message you are trying to convey? This photo was taken in a contemplation garden, and even though the woman appears to be on her phone, there is a sense of peace, of reflection in the photo.

3. Extraordinary: I often think it is important to look, and look again. Our desert in inundated with prickly pear cactus. They are typical, to some desert dandelions. I found this particular heart shaped cactus on Arizona’s birthday, which also happens to be Valentine’s Day. It is formed when a javelin eats the paddle, and it recovers. A closer look here makes you wonder if it is a broken heart.

I love it no matter what.

4. Mass: The barrel cactus are fun on their own. Close up they tend to look like a watermelon with spines, and when you see them in a mass there is an appreciation for the art they bring to a garden.

5. Step back The native pottery in the photo is a great find, but to step back with the lens and see it in it’s natural setting creates a story, a glimpse of another time.

6. Get Close: It is the best way to capture the littlest things.

So what if you gather all the photos and put them together? Sometimes the focus on detail becomes a place. All the photos were from the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.

Thank you, Patti for the inspiration.

What are some other tools, aside from looking close, that you use to focus on detail?

Wind Kisses, Donna