Capturing the emotions of nature with camera

unidentified-leaf-ljCapturing the emotion of nature requires a certain awareness as well as camera.  Enjoying the journey, while learning the camera’s limitations we notice how light showcases our subject. That’s what sets nature apart from indoor lighting. The way light plays off a subject. We’re almost photographing light, irrespective of what the subject is. Don’t get caught up in photographing things. A certain flower without the unique light is “so, so” compared to a weed with interesting light.

Setting up the camera

If using a Single Lens Reflect put a telephoto lens on it. Switching the camera from Auto to Aperture Priority will be a pretty fast setting while still being able to adjust Depth-of-Field. Setting it on Manual may be a little more complex. Set the camera for the largest aperture opening. Now you’re all set to just look through the view finder, focus, and shoot. Focus and shoot. Focus and shoot. This will allow us get our mind off our camera and pay attention to the light and how it features different subjects.

If using a compact camera or smart phone, just point and shoot. You may not have the ability to set the aperture wide open to achieve shallow depth-of-field. In that case, you will have to pay special attention to background distractions.

On a walk around Lake Junaluska the other day, I used the watercolor feature on my camera. It sort of softens edges and gives the image a surreal feel.

Here, walking helps me get into the emotion of the moment. That may be enough for me; but, to share what I feel may be the challenge. Part of what I’m sensing is the mist in the air, the coolness of the dappled shade, the occasional twitter of a bird breaking the silence. How to convey that?

curles-of-autumSo as I wander, drawn to a particular subject. Looking through the view finder, moving closer, one small patch stands out amongst the chaos of the fall. The camera knows no difference. Through my eye revealed, now it’s in pixel form.

Seeing one thing leads to another. Sort of like following the dots. What appeared like nothing worthwhile, turns into clumps of things that I just have to capture. Oh, how wonderful. Outside myself now, just a merchant of the moment. The light is speaking. I look around. Hope no one’s watching. I feel giddy.

Grasses-in-the-wind, Lake Junaluska, NC
Grasses-in-the-wind, Lake Junaluska, NC

Is this how we’re supposed to be doing it. Perhaps, just letting ourselves become a vessel, rather than following rules. Oh, I think the rules are there, maybe for later to explain why we did this or that.

Back at the studio

On the first image, I did have to crop it a bit to bring the main leaf diagonal. I like diagonals. They break the frame into two triangles, using the edges of the frame to help make the other sides.

And, the second one has such a nice feel of depth.

The grasses in the wind turned out like I had hoped. The warm light here really caught my eye and of course the wind, I think can be sensed.

The key here is to allow ourselves to be in the moment. Thanks for looking in. Fee free to share, like or follow. Comments always appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I liked the way this rose came out … Getting close with the medium telephoto.

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