Friday, October 30, 2015

Lowering One's Self to "Their" Level - Behind the Shot

Have you ever heard something along the lines of, "don't lower yourself to his/her level"?  Yes.  We all have.  Of course, this admonition had to do with guarding one's character in the face of a particular trial rather than having anything to do with photography. With photography it often helps to do exactly this because it causes the subject to be more appealing, interesting, intimate, revealing, etc.  

Take the photo above.  I was out on a cool, windy day and not seeing much at all concerning wildlife when I happened upon this grasshopper.  It didn't move at all when approached so I considered this a prime target for using the tilt screen of Nikon D750.  In the past I've tried taking photos of things from ground level with other cameras but was rarely successful because I couldn't get low enough to see thru the viewfinder and to use Live View was a neck breaker down there.  This time I was able to set the camera on the ground, tilt the viewfinder up, turn on Live View and capture this creature without breaking a sweat (or my neck) with the added bonus of a very thin depth-of-field leaving nothing to distract from the subject of the photo.

Compare to this first photo attempt.  I was squatting as low as possible for this shot but was not satisfied because the foreground and background were too busy and distracting.  What a difference putting the camera on the ground made here. The camera settings were the same with an aperture of f/4 but the results are dramatically different.  Another bonus of being able to shoot with the camera on the ground is the color incorporated in the background of the top photo.  That color is basically grass and dandelion but is blurred to a cream as are all the pebbles fore and aft making for a very pleasing viewing experience - at least in my estimation.  

So, go ahead and get down to "their" level.  It won't harm your character at all.  I promise.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Rewarding Patience - Behind the Shot

It is often said patience is a virtue - as in a good or useful quality.  Great Blue Heron's exhibit an abundance of patience when fishing for food.  They often stay motionless in one spot until they see something tasty swim by and then will slowly lower their head to just above the water before striking with lightening speed.


This was taken a Wellington Reservoir as the sun was getting lower in the sky.  As much as I frequent this place the area this shot was taken from has been largely ignored by me because I haven't found much there in the past.  However, on this outing I thought I'd give this section another try and am glad I did as conditions were just right for this image.  

Winged Sanitary Engineer

In the past I've often tried to capture an image of these birds that was satisfactory but almost always ended up disappointed either because they were too small in the frame or, worse, just not sharp and clear if they did fill the frame.   

Fall Colors

Here are a few shots of this years' Fall colors.   The top photo is the view out our backyard.  Unfortunately, I've been so busy at work I've missed the opportunity to get out and explore during the height of the color changes and yesterday was literally raining leaves so the trees are half bare now.  This shot was taken mid-afternoon and by the evening most leaves were on the ground.