This is a progress report on my photography efforts within the Arcanum cohort with Les Imgrund — so not much backyard biology in this post. I am 3/4 of the way through the 20 levels of the Arcanum experience for apprentices, and am slowly improving my photographic efforts on many fronts. I’ve learned quite a bit about composition, what is pleasing to the eye, and what makes a viewer say “wow”. I’m still learning what my camera can do — and what I can make it do better. And most importantly, I’m learning quite a bit about what to do with the photos I’ve taken when my efforts with the camera were not that stellar (which is more often the case). Lastly, I certainly haven’t completely mastered the art of wildlife photography by any means, but I’ve been branching out to shoot other subjects, which is great way to learn what works best for composition of all photos (and especially wildlife). So, here’s what I have done recently to illustrate those efforts.
Capturing the action of dogs at play in the doggy park is just like shooting wildlife (action-packed), but you often have the distracting elements of the humans or structures in the background to deal with (which in this case I tried to diminish by blurring them out of focus).
Before I joined the Arcanum. I never would have considered shooting something like this. This man just had so much character and emotion locked up in that expression and those creases, I must have taken 20 shots of him from different angles. In color it lacked the punch I think it has in this sepia tone instead. Again the background of the shot needed a lot of remediation.
This Platte River sunrise is a work in progress. I tried a different HDR technique (blending 3 images in Photoshop) to get to this image, but am going to work on it more with the assistance of my Arcanum master to really make it sing. Landscapes are something I really want to get much better at photographing and processing.
Of course, my favorite subjects are still the birds, and this shot illustrates what I am aiming for now — simple lines, uncluttered background, crystal clear subject(s), and interesting content. I’m learning to be more intentional about composition, and more careful about camera and lens settings before snapping the shutter.