Friday, October 20, 2017

I forgot my sunglasses..

After running some errands I went back to the UW Arboretum to retrieve the sunglasses I had left in the woods the day before. It was 10am and the light wasn't very good.

I took my camera anyway and walked the half mile to where I thought I had left them. I found the sunglasses after just a few minutes then set about making some images.

The light was flat as I walked through the woods looking for scenes I liked. The picture above shows what I saw and it wasn't very good.

I decided to take a break and lay down by a big maple tree. After about ten minutes of just lying there I noticed a bit of decent color and leaves lit by the sun in the canopy. Then I got an idea.

Normally I like my photos pretty straight forward. Beautiful light and a good subject and composition equals a quality nature photo. The problem was, I didn't have good light in the forest and I was having trouble finding an appropriate subject.

So I got creative and started playing with slower shutter speeds and controlled motion. I made the image at the top of the page by focusing and then moving the camera downward during the exposure. Focus, press shutter release while moving the camera down. That's how the top image was made.

I was using a 24-200mm zoom lens and started playing with the zoom to create different abstract images. Focus, press shutter release button, and push or pull the lens to zoom in or out while using slower shutter speeds.

The amount I moved the zoom during the exposure determined how much motion was in the final image.

I know others will think this is a no brainer and no big deal, but for me it was a leap.

I like colorful, beautiful, real nature images and these are something different. Colorful and beautiful yes, but not a straight depiction of what I was looking at.

At the time, this is what the forest looked like.

At the same time using the same camera and settings I was able to make this. I prefer the second image.

As I was looking up and making this photo I heard an animal running towards me through the fallen leaves. I made the image and looked in the direction of the sound just as a young white-tailed doe ran to within twenty feet of me and stopped where I had set a camera bag down in the woods. 

She waited and I waited. Then I said "hello" and she took a couple of jumps to my side, stopped and looked at me some more. I put the camera up and made a few more tree photos as she ran off.

I'm glad I lost my sunglasses.