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The Traveling Photographer by Sandra Petrowitz

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17 The Small Traps

A Plea for Concentration

“And that little dark spot in the background of the photo, that’s an extremely rare bird; there are only a few of them left in the world.” Unfortunately, the animal that seemed so large and detailed to the excited photographer while looking through the viewfinder is the size of a pinhead in the actual picture. It’s nothing but a splotch in the landscape. The picture still has value as a memento, but it’s disappointing as a stand-alone photograph. What happened?

The more intently you focus on your main subject, the more likely you are to overlook other aspects of the scene (and not just parts of what is visible in your viewfinder). We often don’t see what’s there; we see what we’re concentrating on. ...

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