Nature Photography Requires Timing

I am on the prowl for nature photography. Locally, I can time the various bloom periods at the coast, in the hills and out in the desert. I also like to grow plants in my own yard. I'm lucky to have a yard in the city. Most people do not. Shooting flowers in the yard has taught me how to use my 100mm Canon macro lens. It's a tricky thing as the focal point is very short. I have not done any focus stacking yet. That is when you take several shots with various focal lengths to get the entire flower in sharp focus. Maybe that will be my next venture out into the garden. You need it to be very still as the slightest wind movement makes it impossible.

Nature photography when traveling can be hit or miss. I went to the Italian Alps once to shoot the Larch pines turning yellow. We were two weeks too early! On another trip to Italy I went to the Piedmont and got to shoot the ripest Barolo grapes. The pickers were literally in the next row! So, you just never know. Nature photography comes into play during virtually any photo session and its not all about the flowers or trees. Birds, fish, moose... I'm ready for anything! Just put it in front of my camera.



I have a neighbor who grows the most beautiful sunflowers every year! This sunflower photo brings me a lot of joy. There is just something about their big happy faces. I am still looking for that "field of sunflowers" shot and keep my eyes peeled for it at all times! Shooting flowers is a study in patience and timing. How the light is affecting the composition is probably the most critical part of the shot. what i love about the Canon 100mmm macro is its low light capabilities. So often I find myself in that sort of situation. If the entire flower is in a shadow with a flash of mid day light it just wont work!



I found this tiny cactus blooming in late April at a friends house in Colorado at about 6000 feet.  What I like best about this photo is that it is exactly how I saw it! I was using my trusty Tamron 24-70 which is the workhorse in my kit. I love the story it tells with the pine needles and lichen on the rock. That's one hardy cacti! Sometimes the surroundings of the nature portrait you are trying to capture is every bit as important as the subject. On this walk I was looking for a nice landscape and found minutia!


"Sprit Tree" is a great example of filling the entire frame with the subject. In this instance it was an oak tree that must be hundreds of years old. At this point in its life it has completely taken over the rock outcropping neighbor and they live together as one for all eternity. My son took me to this tree because he knew i would appreciate it. Found at the end of a cattle trail after about 20 miles of dirt road adventuring from any civilization. That fact made it even more reverent. So far away from people for so long! It was a truly remarkable sight and I created several compositions form a variety of angles. This tree was nowhere as tall as a redwood or a Sequoia But what it had done to coexist with the rocky mount it found itself with was amazing and the girth of the tree was as big as anything Ive seen. To think of how many firsts it had seen and the solace and protection it provided beast and man through the ages is mind blowing!

This blog concludes my introduction what I'm all about right now. From this point forward I will be introducing photos and probably some videos or at least hybrids where I hope to explain how the image came about and engage you, the reader, to discuss art, imagery and how it affects our conscious and unconscious mind! Game? Lets jump in then!




I first heard this song by Spirit in 1970 when I was a teenager. Then, the "oil embargo" occurred in 1973. For me, the writing was on the wall. The people of the planet had to come to grips with the fact that collectively we were accelerating our own demise as a species. Whenever I am in the field amongst natures way, this song and its powerful message comes to mind. And of course at this point those that heard the message back then wonder why we are still having trouble getting this message across to others, now 50+ years, a half a century later. I do still hold hope that humanity can do remarkable things together! While the "Summer of Love" was going down in San Francisco in 1967, Spirit was forming as a band from LA. As part of the hippies from Topanga Canyon they released their first album in 1968. Natures Way was on their fourth album of 1970. They had a profound sound of their own but for whatever reason had a hard time sustaining that unique energy for very long like so many bands do.