Today’s post actually began with a title called Ten Reasons. It was about why I
changed my political/social affiliations several years ago. I decided to enjoy
writing today’s post instead. Maybe I will write my intended article another day,
and maybe not, but for today, let’s just stick with photography.
I have known photographers who needed a subject to photograph that they were
“juiced up about” before they would make pictures. If they did not care about the
subject, they would pass on making what could be the photo of their lifetime. All
because it was not a subject they were particularly interested in.
I too have had many subjects that I wanted badly to capture in photos. There
were wild animals that I chased for years to make a good image of to share, or to
sell. The same is true of flowers, specific places and more. With all that said,
there are a million other great images that pass before our eyes every day. We
just need to recognize their visual qualities of color, texture and more.
Never let your drive to get this subject or that one, blind you to what the
light is doing to those leaves, or how the texture pops out on the side of that
Even with the subjects you want for your files, do not settle for only sharp and
pretty. Definitely make those images, but let your senses and your instincts carry
you deeper into the realm of subjects and how to portray them.
Even when you actually are making an excellent image of a subject you crave to
have in your files, don’t stop there. Keep pulling the trigger and keep moving
around and finding new ways to see the same thing.
White Sands New Mexico is a location that when you attempt to make images to
show the world what this place looks like, you immediately begin to also create
shots of texture, natural design and more. You cannot help it.
Wildlife is a different animal (so to speak) than the land.
The background in any wildlife photo is important. Firstly, it gives the information
of where they live, or feed, of just hang out. It also makes the image more
I caught an image of this female Ruddy Duck years ago. The habitat you see in
the image is a bit busy, but it not only tells us where a duck like might be found,
it adds to the image as she rips up and collects the pond growth.
Information is important, but so is the quality and mood of any image.
Behavioral action is of course a good thing in a wildlife photo. It was however
more than information that I was after when I caught this Goldeneye Duck in
mid-dive. I was (repeatedly) attempting to catch him with both ends still in the
water so to speak. My purpose was a nice image, with action and visual
stimulation thrown in.
I was having a great time photographing winter plumaged Horned Grebes one
day. I wanted more than just pictures of Grebes.
I caught this fellow turning and spinning this way and that.
There is no law that every pose you catch a wild animal in, has to show its face.
When you begin getting enough great poses that can help ID a species, look
for other shots to “put in the bank”. In some respects, I find this image more
stimulating then the one with a face.
Twice as good. Two or more critters will help better document the life of wild
animals. The photo below of two young Red Foxes, is sort of twice as good as
might be a single fox. The narrow crop helped to better tie the two siblings
Obviously wild animals are inherently a traditional subject. Just the same, how
we represent them in pictures is what will make our images different from other
Butterfly pictures are wildlife pictures too. The Swallowtail image below is as
traditional as you can get. There will always be a desire for colorful photos of
well-know creatures. Particularly when there’s a pretty flower in the image and
some eye-popping contrast via the use of flash.
Unconventional ways to show a subject, and traditional ways are both good.
The wing of the dragon.
Then there are unique ways to feature a subject. This is not a crop. I used my
trusty 105mm Nikon Micro lens, and featured God’s design of one wing of a
dragonfly. I would have loved to have had a cleaner less distracting background
but that’s the way it goes. If the background would have been cleaner, I would
have shared this picture a long time ago.
I love dew. Rain also, but especially the “clinging” aspects of dew. I will
photograph it on anything. As is evidenced below.
Insects become dewy over night. To my delight. This Metallic Beetle was just
beginning to move after a dewy night.
A blade of grass is a powerful and worthy subject under the correct conditions.
Getting up early has many rewards. The brightness is not flash. I likely used a
silver reflector to direct some morning sun into the grass. Otherwise the sun is
simply hitting the subject. Very few photographers will spend their time
photographing a blade of grass.
There are however, photographers that will get up early on a dewy morning to
locate and photograph dew covered flowers.
Traditional sunrise/sunsets can make for beautiful images. I have certainly done
my share of them. With that said, I never believed in perpetually doing things the
traditional way. Just a few clouds at sunrise, and I was there.
This image is about one of my favorite subjects. Edges.
Trees, a few sunrise clouds, and some sky.
There will always be a want for traditional landscapes. Desert sandstone rock
forms in the foreground, and the snow capped LaSalle Mountains in the background.
The image was made in Utah and I was seemingly alone in the world when I made it.
Subjects will come and go, and what they have to say will differ from one
photographer to another. The important part is to find a subject you like , and
use your own voice to speak with. It would be boring if we all created our
images of the same subject, and did so the same way.