Dew + Wildlife

Today we have a few shots of “critters”, and a few of another well-worn subject from me, dew or raindrops.

Certainly morning dew or raindrops on varying subjects have become a somewhat common subject among photographers. With that said, the need to either get up early and/or crawl through wet grasses, or head out with a camera shortly after or even during rain showers, will preclude it from ever being a major subject. In many ways, that fact often made me happy. The fewer that did it, the more images I sold.

Of course, wildlife photography is and always will be popular. The ability today to crop a digital file with a great deal of success in so far as detail is concerned, made it unnecessary to use the most expensive of the super telephotos. That made wildlife photography both far less expensive, (not necessary to buy a $10,000 lens), while the need to get extremely close with shorter lenses, was pretty much gone as well.

In many ways that is better for both the photographer and the subject. I am ashamed to admit, I did enjoy getting up tight and close to wild animals.

Almost any small subject is a perfect depository for overnight dew, or to catch a few raindrops. My preference was always dew, but I admit I had some great days of raindrop photography as well.

It is absolutely essential to move slow with your feet, hands and the rest of your body, and to watch what you do with the legs of your tripod. That is, if you want any droplets left on the subject. You can do some good macro photography with electronic flash, but it takes experience to make sure it looks natural. If that’s what you want. The third shot below, despite how it looks, is not lit with flash. The light you see was provided naturally via some sunlight streaming through the grasses.

Every subject does not necessarily need to be flooded with droplets. While I loved it when that was the case, sometimes one or two drops set a scene off by adding just enough interest. Also, as with the flower image below, do not be afraid of backlight. Also, the clean unobtrusive background that you see here, makes for a simple, elegant photo.

Making images of wild animals, can be the most rewarding thing we can do with our cameras. Always remember they are living creatures, given by God. So be careful to put their welfare above getting the image.

I had the best time watching this female Ruddy Duck swim back and forth. She became pretty tangled in the plant life that lived in this pond. In the end, she handled it well and went on her merry way.

This image is a small crop, but was made with a Nikon 500mm lens.

While we cannot pose our wild subjects like we can with human ones, they often strike nice poses for us and do so in “artsy” surroundings. The leafy tree, the branches, the sky, the subject and pose, made for a nice, pleasing photo opt.

Bobwhite Quail are an introduced species that has done pretty well for themselves.

I made this image of a female from my car (always a nice blind) with that 500 again. She struck a nice profile for me and I went click, click, click. This was made in Wisconsin.

If I had paid her, she could not have been any more cooperative.

Of course we are mammals, so imagery of wild mammals is a natural thing for us.

These Bighorn Sheep were photographed in Wind Cave N.P. in South Dakota. Not far from Badlands National Park (they live there as well), and even closer to the legendary Custer State park.

They were actually so cooperative that I felt I was stealing photographs rather than creating them.

Many of my favorite times making wildlife photos, were with reptiles and/or frogs.

The Spiny Fence Lizard you see below was captured (photographically speaking) in New Mexico as it hunted for insects and the likes, in a flower garden inside the boundaries of Bosque del Apache NWR. I found a 300mm lens to be perfect for this adventure.

Some days are just great, and everyone I ever had at Bosque was superb.

What about combining today’s two disciplines of photography? Dew or raindrops, and wildlife.

Well, you are not likely to get any dewdrop shots of wild sheep, or for that matter with Quail, and it will be challenging to do so even with most lizards. Thankfully, insects are wildlife too.

The beetle below was coming out of the shadows while covered with the dew of the night before. It all made for some dramatic light and shadows. It also made the gorgeous colors on this critter just glow. I used a 105mm macro and a good tripod for creating this photo. No flash.

On occasions, I would invade the privacy of the critters I photographed. On rare occasions, I was able to do so and include dew in the image.

Then again sometimes, you can find a critter, often a dragonfly, so choked with dew, that the resulting photo makes you wonder if they can even survive. Survive it did. The deep forest background “set off” the sparkling dew drops in a high but very photographable contrast war between light and darkness. I tipped the camera (on a tripod) a little to the right in order to obtain an interesting composition as well. Never stop composing your images until the click is over. Make several different compositions when possible.

I hope you enjoyed this small journey into the realm of dew and raindrops, combined with various forms of wildlife imagery.

For those of you who genuinely believe the Bible, please do take note of what happened around the world recently. Not only horrific earthquakes in parts of the world where much of the lattter day Biblical events will occur, but in other locations as far as 10,000 miles away. The messages are be becoming more evident every day.

May God richly bless you,

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