Re-Thinking

April 02, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

I hope you and yours are well during this very challenging time.

This too, shall pass. Let's hope it's reasonably soon.

In the meantime, you're probably restricted in terms of where you can go right now. I was scheduled to be photographing the tulip fields in the Pacific Northwest this week. They're at about 50% color right now, but are blooming without an audience. Following that, both Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Badlands National Park were teed up. Your shooting plans might have been disrupted also. That doesn't mean you must pack your camera away. 

A few suggestions:

Blooms

Speaking of flowers, in many parts of the country the landscape is already painted with color. Flowering shrubs, trees, and early blooming perennials like tulips, daffodils, bleeding heart and iris make great subject matter. Non-flowering perennials are also interesting; hosta leaves unfurling create fantastic shapes and are one of my favorites. Especially if you have your own garden, you'll find endless possibilities just outside your door. Get in tight to create interesting compositions. Experiment with a variety of perspectives.     

If you live in a colder climate like me, you may still be a few weeks away from garden blooms. There was fresh snow on the ground this morning in my yard! That doesn't mean you can't photograph flowers right now. Check the floral department when you next head to the market, or Wal-Mart, or wherever you're getting your groceries. You may find both potted and cut flowers - and this week and next they'll also have Easter lilies. Working inside, you'll have complete control over lighting and the setting.  I shot the dahlia pictured below inside. That year, before I planted the containers on my deck, I brought some of the annuals into my studio and spent an afternoon making abstract images with them.

In the Middle of it AllIn the Middle of it All Architecture

Live in the city? Grab a long lens and have a look outside your window. Perhaps you'll notice something which has been, until now, hiding in plain sight. 

Birds

Do you provide food and/or shelter for wild birds? Consider capturing images of your feathered visitors. If you're like me and lean more heavily toward landscapes rather than wildlife photography, this is an opportunity to practice. Pull out your long lens and give it a whirl. Spoiler alert - photographing birds isn't easy, so be patient with yourself! A few basics to get you started: 1) focus on the eyes, 2) select a fast shutter speed, 3) use a shallow depth of field to blur the background, and 4) set your camera to continuous high speed.  

Full Moon

This month's full moon (known as the Pink Moon) on April 7th will be a supermoon - and because it's going to be closer to the earth in April than during any other month, it'll be biggest of 2020. Is there an open area near your home where you can be safely out and about (i.e. just you and your camera) to photograph it as it rises? Consult the Photographer's Ephemeris to determine exactly where and when it'll clear the horizon. It's at that point that it'll appear the largest, and will also take on a golden hue. 

You might've had photography plans this spring which have been scuttled. I know I have. There are still things to shoot! Get creative. Re-think your subject matter. Find beauty in the unexpected.  


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