Lens-Artists Challenge #117 – A Photo Walk
“Enjoyable walks await the nature photographer; the priceless satisfaction whatever may be the outcomes of his photography, of a day well spent.”
This week Amy has encouraged us to take a photo walk – an opportunity to see and capture elements of interest. I took to the bike path here on Kiawah and am happy to share some of the gifts nature presented along the way. My opening image is a common moth – quite beautiful when seen in its natural environment. Having studied the many moths on the internet, I’m guessing this creature is a “white-striped, longtail Chioides”, aka a Chiodes albofasciatus. Who knew?!
“A photographer must do a lot of walking with a purpose, so the most important piece of equipment after the camera is a good pair of shoes.”
In addition to the interesting creatures I came upon, I was quite taken by the lovely light. As it kissed the ferns along the path, I worked hard to portray the ethereal feeling. The image above was my favorite of those captures.
“We walk by wonders every day and don’t see them. We only stop at what shouts the loudest.”
I can relate to the quote above by photographer Barbara Bordnick. I take Kiawah’s 10-mile bike path several days each week, either on foot or on my bike. Since I am typically focused on an aerobic workout I seldom stop to observe the wonders around me. This week, many thanks to Amy, I purposely set out to see nature’s offerings. I was fortunate that they were so plentiful (of course they are probably always there and I’ve just passed them by without noticing). I believe the butterfly above is a “clouded sulphur” (aka a collies philodice) posing on what might be a cardinal flower. Perhaps the gardeners among you might help on this one?
“I just walk around, observing the subject from various angles until the picture elements arrange themselves into a composition that pleases my eye.”
We often see mushrooms growing at the base of trees or tree stumps here on Kiawah – and presumably they’re in forests the world over. There are, however, two unusual elements in the image above. First the rich color of the fungi, and second, that it was growing at least 20 feet (6 meters) above ground near the top of a large oak tree. Had I not been looking for subjects I would surely have missed this.
“Just walking. Painting pictures in my mind. Shades of light. Shapes and textures. The eye is drawn. The camera drawn.”
Autumn on Kiawah means the arrival of the Golden Silk Orb Weaver, often incorrectly referred to by residents as a banana spider. They can grow quite large and their webs are intricate and deadly (to small insects only, thank goodness). I’ve combined two images, the left showing the amazing web and the right focused in on the creature itself. I will admit I am not a fan but one has to admire the handiwork! What do you suppose happens to them as winter approaches and they completely disappear?
“Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think it is possible to walk, like Alice, through a looking glass and find another kind of world with the camera.”
There is so much beauty in the world, no matter how small the area we survey – it is incumbent on us to stop and notice it now and then. My thanks to Amy for pushing me out the door and forcing me to smell the roses (or the small yellow flowers as the case may be 😊). I very much enjoyed the exercise and plan to make it a more regular part of my week.
I’m closing with a final image which is a bit of a cheat. I captured this one later in the evening as my husband and I spent some time at the opposite end of Kiawah’s beach. By pure luck the evening was one of the most beautiful I’ve seen on Kiawah. I’d tossed my camera in the car as an afterthought, was nearly out of storage on my memory cards and was literally seconds away from zero battery when the nearly-full moon crept out from behind the clouds as the sun set behind us. The reflection of the pink sky on the waters left by high tide was glorious. The basking birds added the final element to a perfect scene. Ah to have had a tripod and a bit more time!
As always, our thanks to all of you for your creative responses to last week’s Symmetry challenge. We enjoyed your interesting and thoughtful images that beautifully represented the concept. We look forward to seeing your results from this week’s Photo Walk. Please remember to link them to Amy’s original post here, and to Tag them Lens-Artists to be included in our reader section. Last but not least, we hope you’ll join us next week when our special guest host Biasini, Anne Leueen’s clever horse, hosts our next challenge on her always-interesting blog Horse Addict.