Daniel Long

Photography Challenge: Detail — Daniel Long Photography

I began photography using an old film camera, but when I moved over to digital, I saved some money and bought my first lens.

I was given a Canon 20D by my mom with the lens that comes standard, an 18–55mm, but for some reason that I can’t remember I decided to buy a new lens. I bought for myself a Canon 60mm Macro lens.

I can’t remember why I chose that lens. But it soon never left my camera. I loved it!

I would spend all day in the garden with my dogs. I would be taking pictures of everything. Experimenting with composition and lighting. I was learning how to use my new lens.

But more than that I was learning how to use my camera. I learnt a lot about the different settings but as I mentioned in my article What the Hell is Depth of Field, I didn’t have an understanding of some of the technical details that may have given some better results.

But that wasn’t the important part. Taking pictures was.

So, this challenge is meant to inspire you to inspect the details of the world around you. I would recommend experimenting with a macro lens, but if you don’t have one any lens will work, even an iPhone. The important part is to take images. Through the experimentation you will learn something.

That’s the beauty of such a broad challenge as this one. Detail can come from anything. It could be close ups of plants, animals, landscapes, household items, people, cities, cars, etc.

Whatever you want to examine in more detail.

This challenge can also say something about you as a photographer. What you choose to focus on and the compositions you choose to accentuate those details can reveal something about you.

This is a challenge so after reading through my examples and ideas, I want you to have a go and get some great images. The best examples I will include in a future article, with links to the creator’s social media/website. Show me what you can do by sending your photos to me at:

  • Email: info@drlphotography.co.uk


These photography challenges are about creating a community and inspiring creativity for you (my readers) and for myself. It is meant as a way of inspiring each other, critiquing each other and discussing new techniques and ideas.

Example 1 — Plants

The detail of the veins and colours of the leaf are what drew me to capture this image.

The vivid purples and pinks contrasting with the green veins create interesting patterns that would be invisible from further away.

Plants are one of the best examples to explore details that you would otherwise miss from further away. There are multitude of different image possibilities: details of leafs, growth formations, stems, flowers, fruiting bodies.

The image possibilities are endless.

Example 2 — Abstract/Everyday

Swarovski World near Innsbruck, Austria has some of the strangest exhibits, I can’t describe what they were but they were fun to photograph and experiment.

The abstract nature of the sculpture and eliminating as much of the surroundings as possible, allowed the features to be accentuated. The way it was lighted added drama to the composition and lent itself naturally to black and white conversion. The contrasts and greys of the conversion make the detail stand out more so than if it was colour.

The strong black background also helps the detail stand out. Without focusing on the detail of this sculpture, I don’t think that I would have an image. Detailed abstracts can be fun to experiment with, they can be obtained from the strange or mundane. This example is clearly one of a strange object.

But you can create some strange images from the most ordinary household objects.

The key to capturing detail is to experiment!

Example 3 — Stone Formations

The subject is a simple rock wall, but the lighting accentuated the forms, which in black and white create a compelling image. Rock formations are one of my favourite subjects to capture detail.

Walls and floors made from stone have patterns that we don’t notice on a day to day basis, but which when we focus on the detail can make interesting images.

To capture the full detail of the wall I used a wide depth of field (for more information on what depth of field is, check out this article), for the other 2 images I used a shallow depth of field to blur the edges to create an image that focused on the centre of the frame.

In Conclusion

Detail is subjective and every person can notice different details and create something unique.

Go have some fun finding detail in the everyday!

Try new ways of capturing detail. Let me know what detail you want to exaggerate with your images. Use these ideas and examples a starting point for your own experiments and projects.

Show me your work and the best will be featured in a future article with the creator’s social media/website linked. You can send me your images at:


These photography challenges are about creating a community and inspiring creativity for you (my readers) and for myself. It is meant as a way of inspiring each other, critiquing each other and discussing new techniques and ideas.

Written by Daniel Long

Originally published at https://www.drlphotography.co.uk on March 1, 2019.

Daniel is a photographer with a keen interest in landscape and wildlife subjects, but he enjoys to explore many different aspects of photography as a subject.