It’s All in How You See It

Each of us are different. Those differences can be seen in many different ways. Photography can be as individualistic and personal as anything we do. Given time with a student, when I taught workshops I always at least attempted to help them find “there own voice”.  Teach whatever I might know, but do so as a stepping stone to finding their own personal tastes.

I love sand dunes. Those of you who have been with me a while, know that. Probably to the point where a lot of people have gotten sick of it. Well, here we go again.

The four images below were made at Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado. Where sand dunes are concerned, in my opinion, only White Sands in New Mexico is superior to GSDs. These images were made fairly close together in the same area of dunes.

First we have mostly dunes, but with some sky. It gives preference to the dunes, but lets you know there is more to life than only sand. I used a 300mm lens for this image. That became my “go to” lens at this location.

With this next shot, made with a 35mm wide angle, sand dunes become only a part, and a fairly minor part of the world. They seem pretty but not powerful. If you look in back of the dunes to our right, you will see that the dunes are almost as high as the nearby mountains. Neither command all of our attention. I like this image because the sky was interesting and the various parts of the scene are in balance.

Back to my go to 300mm focal length at this location. At White Sands, I used every lens I owned. This place, is a telephoto sort of location.

Here you can see some vegetation at the very bottom of the image. This is almost the flip side of the second picture. I promise you, that those compositions were in every way intentional.

This is actually my favorite image of the four. It is yet another 300mm image. Nothing but dunes and their naturally artistic rhythms.  It looks good enough to eat.

Shorebirds are always great subjects for photography.  Whether they are dancing along the shore, or wading in the water, they are nonstop action and provide photographers with a great variety of poses and compositions.

This is a Wilson’s Phalarope. It fairly large shorebird. This is a female and this species is unique in that the female is larger than the male.  She also comes into vivid breeding colors and the male not so much. Bird photographers need to be cognizant of differing species and what those differences are, as well as what if any differences there are between the sexes.

With all that said, there is still possibilities to show their personal side through their photographs, just as there is with sand dunes or any other subject.

This is another shorebird, and it is called the Common Snipe. It is indeed fairly common but interesting just the same. Birds spend much of their lives looking for food. The poses they strike while in the process of doing so, make photographers like me, very happy.

There are individualistic decisions to make here as well. How about, vertical or horizontal for an example?

Composition is major part of any photograph. This is a crop but it is fairly close to the way it was shot. What I really wanted was for these three White Pelicans  to be in the sort of formation you see, but more evenly distributed. Of course, that could become static. So may decisions. With wildlife, they decide many things for you.

With out any doubt, macro or close-up photography, is something I spent a lot of time doing. Is it my favorite? I am not sure but almost whatever I set out to do, usually some macro shots became a part of my day.

Insects, bugs if you will, and flower photography were two of my favorites. Combined, they were the jackpot.

I loved it when an insect “or two”, stay on one background, preferably a flower, for long enough for me to get a series of movements, and make some sharp images as well. I was certainly more interested in my subject than the flower here but the two together are magic. My 105mm macro lens was used here, and of course a sturdy tripod. I was somewhat at the mercy of my subject as far as composition is concerned, but I still used my personal tastes to fine tune them.

With are final two images, I was actually photographing the flowers when first a bee flew in, and then I spotted a caterpillar on another blossom.  Sometimes the Good Lord just smiles at you when you are out with a camera.  I prefer the caterpillar photo because there is a naturally artistic rhythm to the image, that is lacking in the bee photo.

How  do you see it?

God Bless,
Wayne

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