That term “vision”—what does it mean? For me it’s simple. When I get home from a day of shooting, I review all my photos. I intentionally look for the images that stood out when I first saw them through my viewfinder. However, I usually get confusingly disappointed when I realize the camera didn’t capture the scene exactly the way I “saw” it—or maybe the way I thought I saw it? [Read more…]
This is a photo of a Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus). It breeds in the arctic and migrates southward down into the far southern areas of western Canada and throughout much of the United States where it spends most of the winter. Its journey southward and back again is long and arduous. This particular photo was taken in southern Wisconsin in early March.
Before we get into what’s wrong with this photo, let’s discuss a few good things about it.
At first glance, this is exactly the type of photograph that gets the most attention on forums, listservs and social networks. It might even be a photo that could potentially win a photo contest. Why? Because it captures a dramatic scene that instantly makes the observer feel some kind of emotion. [Read more…]
A couple of weeks ago I ventured out on such a day and after becoming exhausted at trying to find something to photograph, I happened to drive over a small creek and stopped to look and see if any water was moving. There wasn’t but something else caught my eye: autumn leaves & ice! I pulled over to the side of the road, got out with my camera and tripod and slowly looked at all the small scenery along this very small and mostly frozen creek. What I saw was limitless in compositions and beauty! [Read more…]
If you’re like many beginning bird photographers, then you check the weather forecast hoping it calls for sunny blue skies. But, then you get depressed when the forecast calls for “mostly cloudy skies” and a chance for rain or snow. You begin to wonder why you have all that expensive camera equipment!
But don’t fret too hard about it! Yes, it’s true that deep blue skies can be great for photographing birds in flight, but it’s actually cloudy skies that create the lighting situations for the most dynamic or dramatic photos, especially those of perched birds. [Read more…]
Over the winter, I picked up several excellent flower photography books and a few showed some techniques for indoor photography. So, I thought, why not give this a try and see if I can apply what I learned to outdoor wildflower photography. I didn’t have any studio lighting, so I decided to experiment with what I already had. [Read more…]
For example, one day earlier this fall, I set out to photograph one of my favorite fall wildflowers: the Fringed Gentian (Gentiana crinita). They’re generally found in open areas next to higher quality wetlands, and usually grow in clumps of a hundred or more flowering plants.
Photographing them can be challenging since their habit of growing in clumps can make it hard to isolate one or a few of them in an image. Nevertheless, the Fringed Gentian is a beautifully delicate wildflower that deserves the very best attention in depicting that very beauty and fragility. [Read more…]