Archive for January, 2012


Close Up Photography

I think close up photography is really cool. Getting a closer look at something that usually goes unnoticed can really show you a brand new world. Close up photography can even take something totally normal and make it look otherworldly. Ultimately, I think making people see the world through a different view is the job of photographers. Sure, those mountains and sunsets look nice, but I find myself yearning for more in my photographs. I like to look at mountains and sunsets, but I want to see them from new angles. I found a great blogger that has some really great work here, and I think he gets it.

Up close look at some shelf fungus on a stump.

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Missing Spring

If you live on the East coast, you’ve noticed that this weather has been very weird. One day it’s warm, the next there’s snow on the ground. It really makes me wish spring was here with its freshly blooming flowers. One of the best places to see these new flowers bloom is West Virginia. There are hundreds of varieties of wildflower to see, and that can be on just one hike! Taking a break from walking and sitting down to sketch a wildflower can be tremendously relaxing. Even if the drawings aren’t that good (I know mine are that of an amateur!), the habit can still be enjoyable. When you sketch something, you start to really see the object. You begin to notice every line and every curve of the object. This ‘true seeing’ can help you better understand, and therefore better appreciate, whatever it is you are sketching. Hopefully spring will get here soon and we can all start enjoying some spring flowers!

Lighting

In photography, getting the right  light is a very important issue (especially outdoor photography). I personally think the best light comes in the early morning hours or just right before the sun goes down. The light from the sun during these times can paint anyone’s backyard, making it look like an unfamiliar place. At the same time, the sun’s soft light during these times can also make a backyard look very inviting. The first two pictures were taken at sunrise and the last two were taken at sunset. You can really see how the sunlight is similar, soft, and inviting at these two very different times.

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I personally enjoy the up-close, ground photo.

Influences

With blogging, and with life in general, we can use all the help we can get. I posted some links in my blogroll but I want to post them here with an explanation for why I chose these links. Feel free to check these out or if you think any other sites/blogs will be useful leave them in the comments.

Cool Green Science: This blog is all about promoting nature conservancy. One great way to share and appreciate nature is conserve it and I plan on using this blog to help further conserve nature in my area.

Digital Photography Tips: I plan on using a digital camera for my class and I’m always looking for tips. I’ll use this site to find ways to improve my skills with as well as post any good tips I come across.

Drawing/Sketching: One fun thing to try when on a hike is to sketch things you see while you’re outside. This site has plenty of sketching tips for amateur sketch artists (like myself) as well as tips for the more experienced artist.

National Geographic Photo of the Day: Since I want to photograph nature, I thought National Geographic would be good to look to for examples of style.

Nature Images from Photobucket: Similar to the photo of the day, I think these photographs will give me ideas for the style of pictures to take.

Nature Podcast: This podcast mostly talks about the science of nature. While enjoying nature from a surface level is a start, knowing a little bit about the science of nature can deepen your appreciation.

Outdoor Photographer: This site goes very in depth with outdoor photography from locations to technique. As an amateur photographer I’m also looking for ways to improve my photos.

PBS Nature: PBS, like national geographic,has a lot of experience in capturing nature on film. Looking at their examples can help me get the correct angles for when I take my pictures.

Sketching in Nature: Sketching animals can be pretty tough since you don’t always have very long to look at them (like with birds for example). With the help of someone that sketches nature I can learn what to look for and the best way to sketch the things I see.

The Luminous Landscape: This site is really neat when it comes to documenting nature. They have a ton of useful tips for photographers in their forums section. I find many of the photos on this site inspiring and may model a picture or two after one I see here.

A Look to the Future

Wildlife, and nature in general, is something that surrounds us on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the true beauty of our surroundings often goes unheard and unnoticed. If you take the time to stop and listen, your backyard can become a symphony of birds’ songs. A dull, boring backyard can be seen for what it really is under closer scrutiny, a teaming landscape of life. I want to explore not only the backyard, but nature in general. I hope to use photographs, recordings, and sketches to really capture my experiences and show them to people who maybe just don’t really have the time to do their own exploring. Maybe, after seeing my blog those people will make time and explore West Virginia with me.

The sun setting in West Virginia is even more beautiful from the top of a hill.