Up Close And Personal
I prefer nature photography. It’s very gratifying exploring and capturing the secret lives of environments, plants and animals.
Landscapes are relatively easy subjects. They patiently sit still as you set up shots of interest and, for the most part, you know they will be there tomorrow for re-shoots, time lapses or weather studies.
Birds and flying insects are, for me, the most difficult; constant motion. To capture a bird or butterfly requires anticipation of the proper camera settings and the intuitive good fortune to be focusing the camera at the right point in space at the right time in expectation the subject will arrive at that space-time coordinate just as you do.
Plants, though not as difficult to shoot as birds, present their own challenges. Generally I prefer to photograph plants closeup in their natural setting. No picking them to stage in a controlled frame (unless they are from our garden and meant to be picked).
Leaving plants undisturbed after photographing means you may have to contend with less than ideal backgrounds and lighting, finding an angle of access that doesn’t trample the plant bed, limit other plants from intruding in the frame and, most importantly, the wind. I like closeups because they reveal the amazing detail, symmetry, color palettes and, frequently, visitors to my subjects. The wind obstructs these reveals. Even a breeze as light as a breath can set off oscillations in a plant leading to blurred lines and color smears. Fortunately, as in all photography, when the proper conditions align and the subject reveals itself you are left with a very rewarding experience that is felt each time you see the results of your efforts.