I think about photography and how I fit. I’m certainly not as much a student of the craft as some. Keeping up with all the new fangled things can be challenging these days. Oh, I do understand more that I think I can verbalize, and do keep learning, almost by osmosis. In the back of my mind, there is a certain understanding.
I began to work in this area because testers said I might find this area a place where I could use some of my natural abilities. I also knew I would have to learn from others, so I could find out how to do it, without having to experience everything, “The old trial and terror.”
Finding my own voice; however, I’m still sort of searching for that. I did find part of it, when I first recognized how everything fits, how “God don’t make no junk,” sort of. Then I realized that if I just put myself “there,” what I’m supposed to do would reveal itself.
So; for now, while my journey continues to be one rooted in the camera, maybe I can provide a few pictures and describe what was going on during that moment, as I was learning…
The first is this “Grasshopper type” of critter. Perhaps someone can tell me better the exact
species. Most things I shoot are unknown to me. I shoot where I am and because something inside says, “Shoot that!”
I think by this time, I had learned to put the subject off center. I used a long lens, probably my Nikon 300 mm EDIF f/4.5 on tripod, maybe with an extension tube to get closer and to blow out the background. That’s what I was using a lot in those days. It could have been my Nikon 105 mm f2.8. That’s a good macro lens, but I would have to get closer to the subject, and it often jumps away. Nothing is recorded, not like on today’s Metadata.
We were at one of the first get F/8 and Being There … get-togethers at a campground in the middle of Florida – near the Withlacoochee River. I still remember it’s facial expression, “Like a grin,” and trying to hide behind that blade of grass. I recall other critters hide like that or try to hide. It was even soft light.
The next one is entitled dandelion. I was at Max Patch, early May, northwest of Asheville, NC. I think I was shooting wildflowers, and taking a break. Looking through my long lens I spotted this guy and just pressed the shutter button.
It was shot with my Nikon D70 body, set on Aperture Priority and with the same 300 mm lens as mentioned above. Even though it is an older lens, it fits newer bodies. Aperture was opened all the way f/4.5, shutter speed is recorded at 1/1000 sec., ISO 200, 0EV, Center weighted exposure, Medadata also shows that I used my “on camera” flash also. Anyhow, I liked the way it turned out. I entitled it “Hang on.”
I like shooting with the long lens. When opened all the way, it almost turned the camera into an automatic but, still with control over the aperture depth of field. For me, it also frees me up to just look and see.
So, while our photography and other things for that matter improve with time and practice, some of the images we capture may become timeless. The Grasshopper was taken about twenty-five years ago, while the Dandelion we taken in 2008, seventeen years ago.
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On Feburary 27th, 2015, Composition and Winter Photography by Don McGowan will be presented. Early Registration is only $32. Being held from 9AM until noon, at the Maggie Vally Inn, near Asheville, NC USA. This program is in conjunction with the Winter Fest Smoky Style at the Maggie Valley Fail Grounds, Maggie Valley USA
Special room rates of only $59/night are being held for interested parties.