Browsing the archives for the nature tag

That Civilized Veneer

Life as it is, photography

I am a nature photographer. And I have observed myself with insects when I go out. Somewhere near the beginning of my arrival “in the wild” I am hyper aware of anything crawling or landing on me or mosquitoes or bees nearby. But 20to 30 minutes later, i could care less. I am bigger than them and they pose no real risk to me – I may itch later, but for now I can’t be bothered.

I believe this is a veneer of the modern, sterile-seeming world I like to believe I am a part of when I am working my day job in a controlled environment like my home or my office. It takes a bit of effort to throw that veneer off and be an animal in the woods – but I do it – and I love it.

But it rolls back so quickly. The morning after spending a day in the swamps shooting, while driving to the office, I see antennae pop out from behind my driver’s-side visor. Interesting…. Then there are more antennas – lots more. And do I handle it like the nature photographer that I am? No, I handle it like a city boy who is driving to work and is strapped into his chair with unknown creepy-crawlies emerging inches from his face.

Which is to say that I nearly wrecked, stopping in the middle of the street and bailing from my car.

It turns out to be a mess of young caterpillars – I don’t know what sort they were. I recovered and moved them out of my car – and after finding more near my car, I took it for a carwash. I didn’t get any photos, even though my camera was in the car with me – that should tell you how rattled I am.

So tomorrow I am off to shoot wildflowers. And I know it will take a while to let that veneer of expected sterility fall away. But may I be open to the wonders of the natural world as it does – and also maybe come home with only an itch or two.


Nature Photography Advice I Want to Remember


From Frans Lanting via a WSJ article:

“Think of the story you want to convey.” Think of the three or four main photographs that would illustrate this story. Always have these four images in mind before you set out on the photography expedition. Take hundreds of shots, but always be looking for those four images, he says.

I recently acquired a 100-400 lens and a fresnel flash adapter to take my nature photography to the next level, so i was looking for ideas and locations. However, when i read these words, i realized i was reading some real wisdom.

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