Variety is truly, the spice of life.
While I give out my share of compliments in my writings, I’ve never been good at giving face to face compliments. I am even worse at accepting them. Not that I have gotten (or deserved) very many, but those that I treasure the most are proclamations saying that I have taught somebody, somewhere, something. Whether the subject is photography, life, or contemplating one’s navel, teaching is the ultimate experience.
Photography is just like life, take a second and take care of those little details, and the big picture will come into focus.
Every life is and should be, a work in progress. We cannot control everything, but we can continue to learn and grow. The past few years of my life, have been both the worst, and the best of times. Sometimes it just is what it is, but that does not mean that there’s nothing to be gained. Never accept a step backward, without answering with a step forward. Even if that step is on the inside. It pays to remember that there is always somebody who has a bigger challenge to face than you or me.
When I read blogs or social media posts by what I consider to be the best of the best in photography, there is something that most have in common. That is their view (or attitude) of weather and light.
I will read……………Boy, it was sunny with the prettiest blue skies, It was great!
It was awesome. Lots of wind. It blew feathers, fur, sand and snow everywhere. Great photo opportunities.
I doesn’t get any better than this. Some nice color saturating overcast light. Just what I hoped for.
The best of all scenarios occurred yesterday. It rained all day giving plenty of chance for unusual pictures
Most top photographers learned a long time ago that almost all weather/light conditions are good for something. You just change your mindset and get after it. Don’t waste days fretting about the weather, you’ll just make different pictures than you envisioned, not worse ones.
If there is one thing that bothers me about some photographers, it’s their unwillingness to make close-up/macros. That is of course their business, but it seems such a waste for talented photographers to use up all of their artistic vision on whole scenes, wildlife, buildings and so on. Please, look at the world up close. There are uncountable numbers of shapes, patterns, textures, colors and interesting subjects. The biggest and most photographable part of our world……is right at your feet.
Continuing with the theme of close-up or macro work. No matter the photography subject I was photographing at any given time, I made it a point to look down. I found the four pictures below buried in one folder of work that has been previously shared. The folder was half grand landscapes and half birds. Well almost. Hiding here and there between those subjects were these four pictures. I doubt if any of them was the subject that I left the house to photograph.
I have made a lot of bird pix in my life, but I it is a subject for which I never lost my enthusiasm.
Pheasants make great subjects. The are very colorful and they are big and fairly slow. They spend most of their time on the ground but when they do decide to chase a few berries for lunch, they care little about the presence of a photographer. Hopefully they can tell the difference between a camera and a gun
The always entertaining, Spotted Sandpiper. These birds nest in the location where I made this picture. The birds, their eggs and their babies blend pretty well with the surroundings along this stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline.
My flight shots of birds contain a lot of different kind of mid-air “poses”. In many of those poses their head/face is hidden. Of course just like wildlife pictures from the back, I share them anyway. This one is a Ring-billed Gull.
All bird pictures don’t have to be frame fillers. I caught this finch peeking out of its newly acquired nesting box. Pictures like this tell a story and can be artistic in their own right. This is a little bird and it is small in the picture frame as well. Because of the simplicity of the composition, that little bird is where our eyes stop, therefore, he becomes large in our mind’s eye.
One of the great parts of bird photography is the ability to quite often stay right in your car while you perform your photographic surgery. This female Northern Flicker was “on the hunt” as she ran up and down this light pole. You never know what delicacies lurk in the grooves of a wooden pole. I spent about twenty minutes with her.
Another subject who became a victim of my car being used as a blind/hide, was this male Blue-winged Teal. He posed statically for quite a while before satisfying my photographic hunger with a nice flap of the wings. There is a benefit to not always using blazing fast (it was still 1/500th) shutter speeds. Note the duck is sharp but the wings are a blur of green and blue. Some of that is also due to the shallow depth of field, provided by my aperture of f5/6. A little added artistry, thanks to the real artist, my subject.
From time to time, I have mentioned on these pages, someone I consider to be a hero. I have been remiss in not including dogs in my mention of heroism. The story below is sort of an everyday hero type. A list of canine heroes that are service dogs, military and police dogs, or search and rescue dogs would take a thousand pages to cover.
Lucy, Heroic Dog, Ignores Her Own Injuries To Get Help For Wounded Owner, John Miles, After Both Were Hit By A Car
Examples of true selflessness are hard to come by, unless of course we’re speaking of dogs.
Last month, a dog named Lucy ignored her own injuries to get help for her owner after they were both hit by a car, CBS Boston reported.
John Miles was walking Lucy on their regular route in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood when the pair was struck by a speeding vehicle while crossing the street. Miles was knocked unconscious and had two broken legs, a broken arm and 15 facial fractures. Lucy suffered a torn ACL and leg fractures, but the husky-beagle mix limped to the nearest building, a dental office, and barked until help came. Once people responded to her cries she led them back to Miles, who still lay in the street.
“What I’m being told is she sat there and was crying and everything else, you know because I couldn’t get up,” Miles told CBS Boston. “That’s the type of dog she is.”
The loyal pooch continued to watch over him even after paramedics arrived at the scene. “By the time the police and animal control officer arrived, Lucy had braced herself against the nearly unconscious John, refusing to leave his side even as he was lifted into the ambulance,” officials said in a statement, according to Boston Magazine.
Miles and Lucy are both undergoing treatments for their injuries, but are expected to recover. “Lucy reminds us all of the important role animals play in our lives,” veterinarian Meghan Sullivan told Boston.com. “She’s a true hero to John and her family and to all of us. We won’t rest until she’s back to her active self, enjoying long walks with her family once again.”
Sorry, there was no photo of Lucy.
God Bless, Wayne