“Be careful what you set your heart upon – for it will surely be yours.
James Arthur Baldwin
This week I was out shooting with a friend to share some photography techniques and ideas. We were gifted with a beautiful afternoon filled with some of nature’s best offerings. I thought the sharp-toothed fellow in my opening shot was a good way to begin my response to this week’s “careful” challenge.
“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”
St. Francis of Assisi
Of course it’s obvious we need to be careful when photographing alligators! But our day in the field included many other “careful” examples. In the shot above for example, we talked about taking care with composition. The placement of the floral stem moves the viewer’s eye from left to right and the focal point of the butterfly and flower are carefully located off-center. The use of a wide aperture presents the bright, colorful subjects within a soft, non-distracting bokeh.
“A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.”
The seemingly ungainly pelican above presented us with an opportunity to talk about the best way to approach shooting wildlife. It’s a good idea to be careful to shoot from a non-threatening distance. Then, by continuing to shoot while moving closer and closer you are sure to get at least something, even with the most skittish creatures. If you’re using a zoom lens, it’s important to leave yourself enough room to capture the whole subject when it moves. Of course, with a motion shot, it’s also important to be careful to use a shutter speed fast enough to catch the action without blur.
“If you are too careful, Love will not find you.”
If strong shadows are impossible to eliminate, why not make lemonade out of lemons and feature them in your shot? Shadows can often present us with leading lines to draw the eye into the photograph. Interestingly, it was while studying the shadows on this walkway that I came upon the pelican featured earlier – voila, two for one thanks to open eyes and minds!
“Be careful not to let your fear stop you doing things.
Sometimes when the sun is very bright we must be careful to look for different opportunities. Of all the images I made that day, my favorite was a series of some bright green leaves. There were very distracting shadows at play but if I placed my lens carefully within specific areas of the plant, I was able to shoot some of the beautifully lit lines and angles without shadowy interference. Or, as in the shot below, to take advantage of the shadows to create additional interest.
“Intelligent mistakes are the worst, because so much careful thought has gone into them.”
Finally, there is always an opportunity for artistic images created by careful panning. Setting a very low ISO together with a small aperture and a dark lens filter can create magic 😊. I loved the colorful grasses in the shot below, capturing the marsh grasses as they begin their transition to fall.
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”
Michael J Fox
With thanks to my good friend for suggesting the day, I wish you all a week filled with interesting opportunities carefully created 😄