The Tree of Life [pinit]Every park in Walt Disney World has a centerpiece feature. In Animal Kingdom, it's The Tree of Life. Folks always want to get a shot of the centerpiece – Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, the Sorceror's Hat, or this Tree of Life. From what I can tell, most of them look very similar. That's because they're shot from a distance. People want to get the whole thing into the photo.
The problem I see with that approach is that you miss out on a lot of the intricate detail of the tree. I wanted to get closer and shoot some of the detail in the Tree of Life. That's because it's not a particularly impressive centerpiece from a distance. Yeah, it's a big tree. The scale is massive compared to other trees but…well, it's a damn tree from a distance. Get up close and you see why it's the Tree of Life. For my taste, that tells the story better than yet another shot of a big tree on the horizon.
There's waterfalls, rocks and things. You get animals carved into the tree. Can't see any of that stuff in the shots from a distance. Then again, I've never seen a tree with a waterfall in it before. You may have to suspend your disbelief once you get close to the Tree of Life. Nothing is ever quite perfect, though.
Perhaps this comes to mind because I see the same problem in myself. It's tempting to want to get the entire scene into one shot. The problem is that you lose the details, the little things that make the scene interesting. Sometimes it's better to suggest something is there as opposed to showing what's there. Maybe that's why fashion magazines often cut off the top of the head when they display models on the cover. You know she has a top on her head, so why not get closer to her eyes? That's more interesting that showing more hair – most of the time. Some of those fashion shots freak me out.