Question

Close-up or up-close images/pictures

Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 03/11/13

When you talk about pictures taken from short distances, which of these two words would you prefer: 'close-up' or 'up-close'? Or are they interchangeable?

And one more question. Is it correct to say 'pictures taken FROM short distances'?

Answers

2

Here's an American English take on close and up:

I took a close-up picture of the flower. (adjective)

I took a close-up of the flower. (noun)

The flower looked pretty from far away, but not so pretty close up. (adverb- where)

The flower looked pretty from far away, but not pretty up close. (same as above, and probably just as likely to be heard)

I got up close to the flower to take a picture. (very close)

I got close to the flower to take a picture. (normal close)

These last two differ in degree of closeness. "Close" could be several feet away; "up close", in this case of a flower, would mean within inches, closer than I might normally get in order to just look at the flower.

So in talking about taking a photo, I could say, "I got up close to the flower to take a close-up."

Yes, you can say "I'm taking a picture from a short distance", and you would be understood by a native speaker, but you'd probably be recognized as a non-native speaker.

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Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 03/11/13

Richard, thank you very much for your answer!!! >Yes, you can say "I'm taking a picture from a short distance"... And how to say this to sound more natural? :)
1

In my own learning experience, I understood the difference between "close-up" and "up-close" only when I realized that these two phrases only look similar, but they are used in completely different contexts.

I would just try to practice them as two completely different expressions.

Also, an image, memory association or a link to some other familiar object will help remember these two and use them correctly.

For instance:

(1) Oh... you've got some good pictures here. But it's on your mobile screen, I can't really see it. Let me take a close-up look at it when I come back home.

http://pixabay.com/en/office-freelancer-computer-business-612532/

Images in your memory:

Good pictures - Mobile screen - No, too small - Will take a close-up look at it later at home.

(2) I'm making a picture of an elephant on a safari. OK... it's too far... I need to see it up-close, so I can take a good picture.

http://pixabay.com/en/elephant-herd-of-elephants-279505/

Images in your memory:

Safari - Elephants - Too far - Need to see it up-close - Will take a good picture.

This simple technique might help. :)

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Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 12/05/15

Thank you, Mikhail!
1

Close-up is usually used a noun whereas up-close would be used as an adjective.

In cinema, a close-up is a shot taken near the performer.

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Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 03/11/13

Thank you, Paul!
1

I think "Close-up" is more common.

Take a look on this link:http://www.thefreedictionary.com/closeup

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Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 03/11/13

Thanks, Ghadeer! There is 'up-close', too (here: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/up-close).

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