Nothing spectacular today either in my pictures or words. In some cases I am dealing with the lesser shots that often stay locked up in my file folders, but I eventually share.
In the mid 1970s I bought a set of extension tubes for my Canon 35mm cameras. My first subject was a close-up of the inside of a flower. I never lost my fascination with flower detail. This image was made in 2012. I would suggest that any photographer, whether nature is your specialty or not, should take up the endeavor of flower close-ups. It will become a labor of love.
This is the tiny and endangered Karner Blue butterfly on the back of my hand. It was not my choice for it to pose there, it was the butterfly’s idea. It can take forever to find one of these little guys but once you do they are in abundance….and friendly.
When I traveled to national parks that had famous landmarks, I always made images of the lesser known areas of the park as well as those iconic locations. I tried to work those places in the best light but when that was impossible, I photographed them whenever I could get there. You may never be back again. The images below were made in the early 1990s at Arches N.P. in Utah. There is more to Arches than……well……just arches.
Some of the unnamed rock forms were simple in their design, but in many areas they were living in a chaotic environment. I do not suggest blowing up rocks or mowing down plants, so just do the best you can to simplify this “busy” landscape. Images like these usually sit in my files but they are really worth sharing.
I find nothing more enjoyable than roaming the north woods of the Upper Midwest looking for scenes with fall color. Some scenes are busy and some simple.
Neither of the two images below contain a lot of fall color. The light could not be more different in the two images. Just the same, they both say autumn.
There was only one tree in color around Trout Lake. A small part of a tree is more than enough to say autumn. These branches stick out from their surroundings and make a statement of early fall more than an entire forest would.
The greatest thing about landscape work is the opportunity to slow down and examine what you are photographing. I think it is fair to say that seeing and composing the only fall color at Trout Lake was done by slowing down. I never shotgun landscapes, even when the light is changing. It’s about bringing your vision to fruition, not about the number of images captured.
When I make leaf close-ups, I frequently run the main portion of the vein “almost”, corner to corner. Fitting the ends of those veins directly into the corners of the photo creates a symmetry that is bothersome to me. I have viewed pictures like that which were simply not right, and I wondered what it was that bothered me. Under further examination it usually turned out that those veins were placed exactly in the corners of the image. My rule of keeping too much symmetry out of images is however, not absolute. Make your pictures one at a time.
I rarely write about the editing work that I do on my pictures. That is because I do very little editing. It seems not worth the discussion, but it is a part of what we do. This image looked flat and lifeless compared to my remembrance of the leaf. I solved that by adding contrast. Plain and simple enough. I added about five clicks on the 100 scale. The very center of the vein was in fact a hot spot. The exposure I used for the whole leaf, left the middle of the vein too bright. I circled and separated that center from the rest of the leaf and then went in to the brightness adjustment and reduced it.
3D. The eye-popping warm (hot?) red colors of this Maple leaf cause a 3D type separation from the cooler green colors of the grass. Photographers have an endless supply of visionary tools at hand, with color, contrast and texture working miracles with the display of depth.
I don’t believe I’ve ever showed this one before. It is another one of those images that usually languish in my files. Not quite enough color or contrast. Simple, but a little too “empty’ to the left of the Birch trunk. I always enjoy getting these dust collectors out in front of the public.
I’ve shared my photographic philosophy many times. It really falls in line with my philosophy on all of life. No matter what your vision is, regardless of how big the picture is you want to produce, success is created by taking care of the little things. One step at a time.
Thank you and God bless, Wayne