Plant Photography: Color

Helianthus annuus_Sunflower_DBG_LAH_6805

My final post on photographing plants, in all their forms, deals with one of my favorite aspects of photography—color. My dad was an avid photographer as well, but he preferred to shoot a medium format camera loaded with black and white film. Then he’d disappear into his darkroom and spend hours dodging and burning, doing his best to emulate Ansel Adams.

Me? I want color, and the more, the better. Happily, gardens are colorful places.

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Bird Photography: Basic Composition

Secretarybird_DenverZoo_LAH_1564 As I’ve mentioned before, there are lots of reasons to photograph birds. Perhaps you just want a record of what you’ve seen, or proof of a rarity to convince those eBird auditors. Maybe you can’t ID the bird at the moment, and you want to give it another shot once you get home. In cases like these, it doesn’t really matter how pleasing your photograph is as a work of art.

But maybe, like me, you don’t just want a snapshot of the bird—you want a good photo. You’re paying attention to the lighting and the background, and to what the bird is doing. You’re hoping to create a work of art. In that case, it helps to think like an artist.

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Oh Hail!

hail_home_plh-1It was the house-shaking boom of thunder that first caught my attention. As my ears recovered, I heard a drumming on the roof, a steady beat that rapidly got louder and louder. More flashes of lightning. More thunder. I stopped chopping up celery for the stir-fry I was making, and looked outside. Sure enough, that wasn’t just rain I was hearing. It was hail.

Vicious icy balls almost an inch in diameter were pelting the house, bouncing on the driveway, burying the flower borders. I switched windows so I could see my veggie plot. That was a mistake. It’s such a helpless feeling to watch a lovingly tended garden, the beds I had so carefully weeded just hours ago, turn into lime sherbet.

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