Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #146: Focusing on the Details

When you pay attention to detail, the big picture will take care of itself. ~George St-Pierre

Sometimes when I go out on a photo shoot, I focus on the big picture—like a sweeping landscape or cityscape —trying to capture as much of the scene as I can.  But often, the details do a better job of “telling the story.” 

Here’s a recent example.  This week, I took several walks to the home of John Paul Jones, a Revolutionary war hero who lived in Portsmouth in the 1700’s. This beautifully preserved colonial house is now a museum, surrounded by several outbuildings and gardens.

My first goal was to focus on the home–at a distance– and then zero in on the details. The house, built in the Georgian style in the 1700’s, has a clapboard exterior, gabled dormers and a segmental arch over the front door. As I took the detail shot, I was surprised to see the row of dentils embedded in the arch. I hadn’t noticed that before.

As I walked around the gardens, I paid attention to the details. Fortunately for me, the tulips were blooming this week. Here you can see the difference in the buds and petals from Monday to Tuesday on two sunny days.

Budding Tulips on Monday and Tuesda

As I walked around the site, I captured a few other details, like a path leading to a small outbuilding with a curved wooden bench with a view of the house and gardens and a sundial surrounded by budding tulips.

Rest a While, John Paul Jones House, Portsmouth
Sundial at John Paul Jones, Portsmouth, NH

Once I started looking for the details, I was surprised at how many I found. Each detail enriched my experience of the visit and gave me a more complete picture of the place.

This week, we invite you join us for LAPC #146, Focusing on the Details. Include photos of the details from one subject (a person, a place, an object) or many subjects. It’s totally up to you. We hope you have fun taking a closer look at the details. In your post, include a link to my original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can easily find your post in the Reader.

A special thanks to Priscilla of Scillagrace for her fabulous Getting to Know You! challenge last week. I love how you all took this theme in many different directions–showing us more about yourself or people you love through photographs. Others focused on the places where you live and your culture. As always, your posts surprised, delighted, and inspired us. On Saturday, May 8, Amy will host LAPC #147, so be sure to visit her beautiful and thoughtful site for her latest inspiration.

Until then, have a wonderful creative week and please stay safe.

221 replies »

  1. During my photographic journey I have tended to focus on the details but since moving here I have had to learn to appreciate the beauty of taking in a wider scene. Especially as the landscapes and seascapes are so wondrous. But mainly I love to zoom in on the smaller things, so I’ll see what I can come up with. Your photos are lovely Patti, I have a fondness for benches and sundials myself 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jo. Perfect. Your cushions are ready for a spot in the garden! Perfect to sit out there with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. I’m ready, too. And enjoy your week, too. Do you have tulips where you are?

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      • We had a few but tulips really aren’t part of the environment here. Only in a complex where they can be tended and removed. Too warm now, Patti 🤗💕

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    • Hi, Andre. Interesting what you noted about the macro lens. I used both a macro and a 17 to 70mm zoom. Good point. As for the background, it’s always a question of whether to Photoshop out those details or leave them in!! It’s always a judgment call.

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      • Thanks, Patti. I’m developing my images with a raw-developer (digital lab) and usually try to relinquish to the abilities of Photoshop or similar tools by choosing a proper composing while photographing. I know, it’s not always possible to have the nice surroundings we would like to have. But, photography shows the reality, while painting has the freedom to create an ideal setting, where everything is exactly as the creator wants it to. A friend of mine often wears a t-shirt saying “I can’t paint, that’s why I’m a photographer”.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Amy. Thank you!! I love the tulips. It’s always a very short season for them, but I love them. Enjoy the weekend, Amy, and thanks, as always, for your encouraging words!

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  2. Was John right about the time? These are great shots. I think buildings are hard to photograph, especially the large skyscrapers downtown. Thanks for the inspiration this week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely challenge, Patti! Beautiful details and I completely Love that bench. Looks a beautiful place to visit, calm and detailed. Wishing you a sunny Sunday too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, A-C. I’m delighted. I though it was an interesting detail off to the side with the flowers in the background. Happy, sunny Sunday, too! Looking forward to your post!

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  4. Hi Patti, I love posts that highlight the details, a great theme! I will join you tomorrow to share details in the water for Sunday Stills! So interesting to see your details in the architecture of the home. My favorite is the sundial, so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Terri. That’s great. Tomorrow, then. I’m delighted you like these details. The sundial was a surprise, for sure as well as the architecture. See you tomorrow, then!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Patti, you are so right that sometimes we neglect details in favor of the big picture. I find that when I go back to a place I’ve photographed before, I do look for the smaller details. I loved your images of the John Paul Jones home. Even though it needs a face lift, it’s a beautiful sample of the architecture back then. Great captures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Anne. Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the home, too. As you can see, I love architecture….and its surprising details.😀. I hope you can join us!! I’d love to see what details you’ve found.

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    • Hi, Aletta. I almost missed some of them! It’s funny how you go to a place and get the big picture and then the details. (At least, that’s what I do!!). Glad to hear your thoughts on this post! Hope you can join us.

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  6. I like the way you’ve used framing to draw attention in these shots as it helps carry the eye over them well.

    There’s a nice mix of colour here, as well as an appreciable variation in details and how they work to better define the objects they’re a part of, I think.

    Here’s mine for this one:

    Old Pit

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Terrific post Patti, and a great challenge subject. I’m looking forward to seeing so many varieties in the response. You’re so right about details and how they can enhance our view and our understanding of any subject. My favorite this week was your tulip bulb/blossom comparison. Wonderfully done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Tina. Many thanks! I was lucky last week–to have 2 sunny days in a row and to find the tulips in the garden. They are such wonderful flowers and bloom for such a short time. They’re already starting to fade. But while they last…it’s magic! Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sarah. I love your idea–of challenging yourself close to home. Glad you liked the JPJ house. It’s a beauty…a bit faded, but still a beauty!!

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    • Hi, IJ. What gorgeous flowers! I enjoyed your post. As for me, I was very lucky to have 2 sunny days in a row. After that, the weather changed and it’s been cool and rainy. Those lovely tulips are already fading. You’re right about the bokeh. It’s a wonderful treat. Thanks for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Radhika. Thank you! I was lucky to have two sunny days in a row when the tulips were budding. This week is cool and gloomy! Glad you joined us and showed us the details in food.

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  8. Great rendition on the details Patti. For me, it always the little things that matters but I sometimes compromise because I am distracted by instant glance, not a good habit I think.But then, it´s actually a process.
    I can´t say no to those budding Tulips, they are glorious.
    Happy Spring to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, JBD! Thanks so much! I am easily distracted, too. This post was a good exercise to force myself to slow down and really pay attention. I’m delighted you like the tulips! They are such gorgeous flowers–for such a short while. I think that makes them more precious. Thanks for your thoughtful comments!

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    • Hi, Babsje. I’m delighted you like the tulips. I was so lucky to see them on two successive sunny days. This week we have lots of rain and the poor tulips are fading. Your poor heron isn’t letting a broken leg get her down–as you say. A good lesson for us! Take care and I hope you have a complete recovery.

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      • Thanks again Patti. I know what you mean about the rain – I’m in the metrowest Boston so our weather has been similar and our tulips are done but it was so creative for you to juxtapose them on sequential days, lovely. Best, Babsje

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    • Your post opened my eyes to the microcosmic world of lichens! Wow. Thanks! As for my images, yes, I was very lucky to have two days of sunshine in a row. We’re now in a rainy and cool period and the poor tulips are wilting. Glad you joined us, Susan.

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    • Hi, Jez. Your post was a real treat. I love how all your details added up and enriched our appreciation of the bridge. And thanks too for your kind words on the tulips and the sundial. Enjoy the weekend, too!

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  9. An excellent post and topic. Because we tour numerous historic monuments and homes, we both love this post. I’m also a fan of getting up close and personal to see what else there is to see. The sundial is a special favorite!

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    • Hi, Rusha. So we think alike! I love these old places. Their history calls to me. Glad you agree! The sundial was a surprise. I was so busy looking for flowers I didn’t notice it at first. Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments and kind words. They are always appreciated!

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  10. Hi again Patti, I am doing an interview of John Steiner as a participant in challenges. He mentioned LAPC most of all. With your permission, I’d like to include this post linked to the LAPD name in the interview post. 🙂 BTW, did you see my details post? I included it with my Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Challenge. You inspired me to investigate until I found the name of the plant! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that…sliding into my seat just before the bell rings!! Life is like that right now, isn’t it?? I enjoyed your post very much. That last image is stunning!

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  11. I really like the budding tulips from Monday to Tuesday, an excellent choice to show how details change.
    The curved wooden bench is really a charming detail in the pleasant surroundings and I love John Paul Jones house, at a distance as well as all details.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Anita. Thank you! I appreciate your thoughts. I was lucky that we had 2 sunny days in a row so I could see the change in the tulips. Now, the poor things look a bit wind blown, but last week they were beautiful. It was a fun experiment for me. Glad you like it, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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