Played around this morning in my garden. Instead of creating a documentary image of my daisy, I decided on an artistic approach. The hazy morning and soft light lent the perfect atmosphere for an artistic image of the daisy.
These guys are not in the most idyllic location and I don't want to disturb them to the point that mom and dad abandon them. However, I couldn't resist sharing these darling little robin babies. The parents decided to build the nest and hatch their little brood on top of a 6 foot step ladder that my husband had set next to the garage. That ladder was supposed to be there temporarily, but when he went to move it, he found the nest. We didn't want to disrupt the little family, so the ladder has remained where it is and we have watched from afar as this little family grew.
Back to combining my favorite elements: Victorian styling and sunrises. This time with a beach thrown in for good measure. I've assembled the pieces of the wardrobe over time. As I found pieces that would work, I would pick them up. After I finally had them all, I was fortunate enough to call on my friend who is also a morning person so that we could bring the look to life.
Michigan has a lot of lovely places and you don't have to go far to find them. This beach is about 20 minutes from my home and it's the perfect place to watch sunrise.
Rules are in place for a reason. While humans are proud of their independence and individuality, they still need to follow rules. Breaking them endangers the animals and yourselves. No selfie or bragging rights are worth the risks. Nor is it wise to ruin the experience for those who come after you.
The national parks have an article with 10 tips for respecting wildlife: www.npca.org/articles/1267-10-tips-to-respect-wildlife-stay-safe-and-avoid-internet-ridicule?utm_source=parknotes&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blog
When photographing wildlife, it is good to understand animal behavior. It is also wise to have a telephoto lens. Yes, they can be pricey, but they are worth the investment in order to keep the animals and yourself safe.
A cell phone does not have a good telephoto lens. You can buy an aftermarket lens attachment if you do not want to carry a camera with telephoto lens. Olloclip is one option: https://www.olloclip.com/shop/lenses/iphone6-telephoto/
If you have a dSLR, you can get a decent telephoto lens for it. You do not need a professional lens to get in closer. I have the Tamron 70-300. That lens on a 1.6 crop sensor (I have the Canon 50D, but this will work on a Rebel, as well) gives you an equivalent to 480 mm. For under $1000, you can have a nice set for wildlife photography. No, it is not a fast lens, but it is far better than a cell phone for wildlife photos and it is quite sufficient for those on a budget. Just learn your limitations and work within them. Heck you may even be able to use the limitations to your advantage.
I captured the image below with the Canon 50D and the Tamron 70-300, zoomed in to 209mm (on the 1.6 crop, the zoom was the equivalent to 335 mm). Had I wanted to single out an individual bison, I could have zoomed in even closer.
So, enjoy the parks, capture images at the parks, and be safe!
On my journey through photography, I started with landscapes and macros, moved to family, then started experimenting with conceptual art. As my work improved, I started gaining clients and collaborations. It got to the point where I completely forgot about photographing things that mean the most to me. I'm not saying I don't enjoy client work or collaborations. What happened was that I stopped photographing the very things I tell everyone else they need photographs of: their family.
As photographers, I think we are on a quest for the perfect image so that when the conditions are not right, we don't make the photo. The problem with this is life is messy and fleeting. An imperfect image of someone you love will have more meaning than the perfect image you created of, say, a sunrise over the mountains. Embrace the imperfections. Capture the moment.
Go ahead and give yourself permission to photograph your family even if the conditions are not ideal for the perfect photograph. You will regret not having that image when those you love are no longer with you.
Below is an image of my son. I saw the light falling on him beautifully, but the background was messy and I could have used a bit more fill on the shadow side. Since he's young, I only had 3 frames in order to get it right before he got bored or started making exasperated faces. I'm glad I created the image anyway. Even with it's imperfections, it's one of my favorite images of him.
As I mentioned in the last post, my 21 year old cat is getting very close to her last days. Instead of setting up a backdrop and forcing her to sit in a prop-filled set, I photographed her in her favorite spot, a hammock next to the TV. I framed the image to make sure the background was not cluttered with TV and wires, which meant, no full body images. I also cannot get her to look at me because she is blind, which is very obvious from the condition of her eyes in this image. She doesn't have to be perfect. She is perfect to me and I will be glad to have this lasting image of her after she has passed.