Wildlife/Nature Photo Challenge
A friend of mine on the We Will Create website recently posted her first entry of her genre-a-month photo project. Her theme was wildlife – and her pictures and stories so inspired me! Since my plans for barn hunting didn’t quite work out as expected yesterday, I took a little detour to shoot some wildlife and nature. Here’s some of the highlights, lowlights and things I learned…
I’m happy to announce I saw my first armadillo close-up on this trip! I also learned that they are fast little devils… and that you shouldn’t assume you can just walk up to one, tap it on the shoulder, and ask it for a photo… Well, you can, but this is all you will get… (forgetting to use my zoom lens did not help either).
For next armadillo sighting I had my zoom lens handy (70-200mm). I managed to get a little closer with the right lens in a moment that he stopped to think to himself “oh my gosh! I think that human is following me!” and then promptly ran off. However our lovely winter background of deadness really doesn’t do much to help things..
After another hour or so I came across yet another armadillo! He was foraging for food on the edge of a tree line which thankfully had a rare patch of green soft grass. I quietly sneaked up to him, a little at a time. I was able to get some decent shots of his butt at least… oh animals and their rudeness!
At the closest I was about 6 feet away from him… which is when I learned how hard it is to get a clean close up shot when you’ve got twigs and branches and brush and tall grass all over the place.. this one below was the best of the bunch. The sun was also really harsh and not helping things. I conclude that nature is very inconsiderate.
Right here is where you would be seeing my really gorgeous macro shot of a beautiful golden butterfly sunning it’s wings… however you will not see it because butterflies are really kind of bitches about having their picture taken. Didn’t get a single shot – just as soon as I was almost close enough, they took off. Such a tease. I decided to work with a spider instead, who was a little more accommodating (although not by much).
Mr. spider was about 3-4cm long. I didn’t quite get the focus right – yet another factor to have to consider on top of the issues of ugly natural backgrounds and horrible harsh sunlight.
Later in the day I found a great little pine forest with plenty of mushrooms and pine cones to practice macro photos on (and way more convenience since they don’t move!) I did a little light study on this mushroom.. moving from more frontal light all the way to backlit. It was fun to see how different each direction made the image feel.
I came across this little finch-like bird who was just flitting about on this dead tree by the lake. Finally an animal that is not camera shy! For about 10 minutes I photographed him while he flirted for my camera.. it was definitely a lot of fun. Still working on trying to get the right settings to get clear shots of birds in action… they usually end up looking like strange alien things hovering in the air…
He unfortunately seemed to share the same animal rudeness of the armadillo in mooning me a lot…
I did manage to get a few really pretty shots of this little guy though – slowly he let me get closer. This one below was one of my favorites.
I also learned that cows are boring… especially on flat ground.
I learned that sometimes just when you are coming up on a cool ominous-looking scene of a beach with ravens on it… some stupid kids come walking by noisely and chase off all your subjects.
I learned that sometimes making a shot better is as simple walking around the subject to see if there is a better angle with less clutter…
This last shot was inspired by a similar shot my friend took (mine on the left, hers on the right).. the diagonal shadows must have stuck in my mind, because as soon as I saw them out on the trail I instantly thought of her image and decided to take a version of my own! Thanks Alyshia for getting me inspired for this trip! It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun!!