Observations, Problem Solving, & Making Use of What You’ve Got

Birds come in all sizes and a wide variety of colors. Of course with photography, depending on the lens in use or the distance from the subject, or what sort of crop takes place, all birds begin to appear equal.

Below we have a sparrow, an American Kestrel, and a Sandhill Crane. Each one a vastly difference size than the other. Photography can make all things equal.

I’ve only photographed a few snakes in my life. The only resulting images I like, was that of a Northern Water Snake some years back. With that said, I did enjoy an experience with a Fox Snake, despite the fact that it was hard to get close to, and the full body shots I took meant that my images do not have that up close and personal feeling to them.

I was in Door County, Wisconsin with my partner, teaching a photography workshop. It consisted mainly of making macros of flowers, and images of the many lighthouses that reside in that county along the shores of Lake Michigan. I could not convince the students nor my partner to attempt to make images of this five foot long snake which appeared as if from nowhere, on the property of a lighthouse. I needed about 70mm to create a moderate close-up and still get the entire snake in the picture frame. The snake showed me no fear and got bored with me and slithered off.

Close-ups of wild animals are rarely easy. The two images below however, were.

The dragonfly you see below was just finishing a morning of drying out from the overnight dew. I would imagine it was at one point completely covered with dew. There was one lone drop that remained on its head (eyes actually), and I felt that drop made the photo.

Depth of field is always an issue when you are up close to a critter. Getting enough depth of field to cover this Bull Frog with everything sharp and in focus, was impossible, so I did what I knew I could do. I made sure the eye that would appear closest to future viewers, was crisp and beautiful.

We take what we can get. The secret is to make something acceptable and noticeable that is important, and the rest can fall into place. With critters of all sorts, the eyes or in this case the eye, is the perfect choice.

Another love of mine for a subject was the interior of a “spring green” forest. A floor rooted with flowers would be nice, but you can’t always get what you want. Still, just that smattering of Phlox helps add some splashes of color contrast to the scene. .

Some of the best flower subjects are considered weeds. Such as this Thistle.

And this Chicory.

Then again, rare and endangered flowers like the White-fringed Prairie Orchid are what stock photography is all about.

God Bless,

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