Last year I began posting a series of essays on things I learned about photography that I did not learn in a textbook. Hence the name:
Photography After the Textbook
Here is my ninth essay, titled:
Don’t Be So Fussy
This morning I went to a nature preserve near my home. I parked my car and began walking toward a trail when another photographer, who was walking off the trail. said “Hi” and asked me,
“What are you looking to shoot?”
“Anything really.” I said
“Well, there isn’t much this morning. Just a bunch of Robins. Any other birds were high up in the canopy. Good luck!”
I waved him goodbye and said, “Thanks”.
At the start of the trail, I saw the wildflowers at the top of this page and loved how the warm light touched their petals. I had a 200-500mm lens on my Nikon D500 but found a way to make the image work. Click on the image to get the exposure specs and to see the entire image (my website cuts it off at the bottom).
My morning passerby friend was right — a bit further down the path was an American Robin — a very common bird but I loved how it was perched:
Two more steps I saw a small garter snake. I got down low to make it look more ominous than it really was:
Again, my photographer passerby friend was correct, the birds were high up in the canopy but I spotted a gray catbird and moved around to frame her/him in such a way that I might create a compelling shot:
A bit further down the path I ran into two photographers photographing a chipmunk and they graciously allowed me to get close and photograph it for myself:
I little further along the path I found some more flowers I liked:
The man I passed earlier implied that there was nothing worth shooting today. In my opinion, there is always something worth shooting but if you go out with a preconceived notion of what you want to shoot, and it’s not there, you’ll come away with nothing. I was at the nature preserve less than 20-minutes and already had five nice images.
Be prepared to go with the flow. There is nothing wrong with wanting to shoot a specific thing but don’t let that blind you to everything else there, that is worth shooting.
If what you want to shoot isn’t available, open your creative mind to everything else and you may surprise yourself.