Yes, I know worms don’t have eyes, but the analogy still works. It takes a little work to achieve wildflower photos that don’t look like every other photo one sees out there. I guess another way to phrase this would be “location, location, location”. For flower photos that stand out, move around and get some unique angles. Perhaps looking straight down, or even better, get low to the ground. For these two photos I was on my stomach and side, trying to find an angle that the casual observer would not see. I also wanted to fill the frame, since the flower IS the subject. The acorn in the first photo, while not the main focus, adds to the interest of the image. So, next time, bring some extra padding and get low to the ground. It won’t disappoint.
Central Indiana recently had a freak snowstorm. April 24 – 10+ inches of snow. Of course the following day, I decided to head over to one of my favorite parks to see what kind of snow images I could find. I was thinking of snow on evergreens, shadows, birds on snowy branches, etc. As I was walking along I noticed three benches near the ornithology center where there are numerous bird feeders. I thought it would make a good picture which showed the depth of the snow. I didn’t really “see” the image before me. When I got home and started to process the images, that’s when I saw it – the snow on the benches appeared to be shaped into individual seats. As I looked closer, the chairs reminded me of thrones. I call this “Thrones of Snow”. This is why I love nature photography. It’s never static. Views change constantly.
Whenever I try to be a little more creative, I’m sometimes a little self-conscious about the final outcome. I keep wondering, “Why do I like the end result”. I’ll take you through my thought process on this one. In early spring, it is sometimes hard to find a good landscape image: the trees are still bare, nothing is flowering, so there is not a lot of good color to work with. I decided to make a partial black & white and color image with muted colors. The red of the barn and the green of the trees work well since they are opposite colors. I also wanted to keep just a hint of the blues in the sky and water. The rest of the image I wanted black and white (gray tones). I’m hoping the end result focuses more on the color that was in the image. Because there are also gray tones, too much color would only bring attention to the barn – I want the viewer to not only focus on the subject but the background as well. The creative process is so subjective, so I hope this fits in with the tastes of other viewers. It’s always hard to tell.
As a nature photographer, I have been taught that as you walk around looking for some exciting scene, to always look back every once in a while. Too many times it’s easy to focus on what’s ahead – always anticipating. One has to remember that what you have just walked past may have transformed into an image you never would have seen. Luckily I am in that habit and it has paid of a number of times. Today I found out that not only does a natural scene become something different when taking a quick glance back, but wildlife is also included in this concept. I drove about an hour and a half away to a place in north central Indiana that is known for bald eagles this time of year. I was disappointed this time as I couldn’t find any kind of wildlife. I was just about to turn the corner and leave when I looked back once more – and yes! Across on the other side of the river were three bald eagles. I grabbed my tripod and my long lens and got a few shots. The day did not disappoint.
As a wildlife and landscape photographer, there sometimes isn’t a lot out there to photograph in the winter (unless I’m lucky enough to catch ice glistening or a beautiful snowfall). The skies are gray, with bare trees, and a lot of dull colors everywhere. Of course I could just need to be inspired. Wait! I think that’s it. Inspiration. Luckily I’ve been photographing enough to know that a good photographer can find almost anything to photograph, no matter the location. So when a photo buddy of mine asked if I wanted to have a shoot at Turkey Run State Park, in mid February when it was 28 degrees and misty, I said, “Sure, why not”. The above photo is actually one of the first I shot that day. Everyone who has ever been to Turkey Run has traversed across the suspension bridge that spans Sugar Creek…..and almost every photo I have seen of the bridge was taken looking down the bridge from the top. I thought I’d take a look under the bridge and that’s when I saw this great perspective shot: the bridge at the top of the photo leading your eye into the rocks on the other side. Of course I found other subjects to shoot. A few small frozen waterfalls, colorful patterns on the frozen walks, etc., but this was my favorite shot of the day.
I have never heard the phrase “Fun with Fractions” but how about refractions? I was taking a walk after a rain shower and noticed all the raindrops on the bare branches. Luckily I brought my macro lens along and looking closer, I noticed the inverted images through the drops. However I did not bring my tripod. One thing about macro photography is that the slightest movement blurs the image beyond repair. I took about 20 shots. One thing in my favor was lack of wind. There were several people watching me and I’m sure they were wondering what was so fascinating. In this image you can see the trees through the raindrop. Quite fun. I might be looking forward to rain showers from now on.
One of my favorite places to photograph is Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. One reason – I only live about 15 minutes away. The main reason though is because it is one of the largest city park in the United States. There is so much to see here. Waterfowl, reptiles, an ornithology center, boating, fishing, a zip line – you name it. A few days ago my wife and I decided to end our cabin fever and take about an hour to walk around the park. We heard birds, but didn’t see many. However, robins were out in all their glory. Yes, one of the more common birds in the area but when I saw these two, I already had an idea of how I wanted to photograph them. I specifically wanted the nearest bird to be the focal point. Also, I knew I had to use a white vignette. The majority of vignettes for photographs have a darker border. I thought with the snow, why not really emphasize the landscape and lighten up the border. I think this works – but it’s always subjective. I look at it this way. If it’s how you envisioned the final image, and it works for you, then you should be happy. I’m happy. Thanks for reading.