Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Nature Photography Workshop

Lotus flower by Laurie Collins
The Saturday Nature Photography Workshop was led by a very enthusiastic MG Laurie Collins who, without a doubt, enjoys poking her camera lens at critters and plants.
Laurie Collins - Bee on Cosmos
Starting out with perhaps the most important tip for beginner backyard shutter-bugs, Laurie said "Have fun. Don't stress." And don't seek that perfect shot. 
Lunch stop
Being in the right place at the right time is important but you have to have your camera with you, along with a well-charged battery and plenty of room on your memory card.
Making a getaway
Lighting can enhance your shots - think about backlighting. Try taking pictures of the same subject several different times of the day.

Snapping photos is not just for summer - go out year round. Right after a storm is interesting as is early morning dewdrops. A tip I learned was to carry a small mister when I knew I was going out to take photo shots.

Harry Lauder Walking Stick - Diane Fusting iPhone
Take lots of pictures. With digital you're not paying for the printing of every shot taken; and don't look at them while you're out there. As Laurie said, "There's plenty of time for that back at the computer."  She noted that the LED image on the camera can't compare to what you will see on the computer screen.
Think about your background

Just shoot! Don't forget to look down, too. Some shots are at your feet.

Bee on dandelion - true sign of spring- by Laurie Collins
Try different angles - side shots, down into the center of a flower - think outside the box.
Side shot
Bee on coneflower center
Diane Fusting discovered at the workshop that iPhones don't compensate very well for lots of sunshine as most of her photos were washed out with too much white. Photos taken in the shade or on overcast days (see below) turn out better.
Top down shot - Diane Fusting iPhone
Other important tips focused on taking care of your photo shots. Download your photos often and look at them on the computer screen. Laurie said, "Get rid of the crappy shots right off the bat." Edit out (yes, delete) photos that are not wanted and name the photos or at least organize them in named folders.

(You know why.)

See more of Carol Kagan's photos on FLICKR
See more of Laurie Collins' photos on FaceBook albums

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