Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nature Photography

Maltese wall lizard (Podarcis filfolensis)
I am often asked by readers of my articles about my nature photographs the questions more often than not revolve about the kind of equipment I use. 

My reply is always “nothing special’ a reply which is received with scepticism.

 I have a micro lens which I use most of the time but it is possible to take nature pictures even with the most basic camera, this is especially true nowadays as even the pocket digital cameras can be used for close-up photography. 

The picture of the lizard on a wall accompanying this article was shot without any special equipment. The most important thing is not the equipment but the ability to see pictures where many others do not.

Plants are often surrounded by other vegetation; animals often hide themselves in their surrounding. 

The most important skill is to learn to see pictures in the surrounding clutter. To do this you must learn to look and observe with all your senses a skill you develop with a lot of practice which you can only get by spending a lot of time in the countryside taking pictures or just looking and observing.

By spending some time looking at a particular patch of ground, a bush or even just a small plant you will start seeing things which you previously failed to notice. Insects and flowers seem to pop out of nowhere.

 I often lie down on the ground to get a good point of view and while in that position I start seeing one photograph after the other and I end up taking up a lot of pictures of different objects from one spot.

My advice to anybody who wants to take nature pictures is to get out there and start shooting. 

With digital cameras you can shoot hundreds and thousands of pictures without any extra cost. Spend as much time as possible in the countryside. I spend at least one whole morning every weekend in the countryside to ensure that I have good pictures for my articles.

This article was published in The Times on 20.10.10

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