Worth a Thousand Words: Issue #014






Worth a Thousand Words, Issue #014 — Express Your Personal Vision in Nature Photography
June 15, 2011

Learn to Express Your Personal Vision in Nature Photography

This month, guest writer Larry Monczka is back with an article that offers specific techniques to help you take abstract photos of nature that go beyond the straightforward record shot. He writes:

“By and large, nature photographers are a fairly conservative bunch. They know what they like and they like to know exactly what they’re seeing in a nature picture. Anyone who has regularly entered local camera club competitions knows what I’m talking about.

This time-honoured approach to nature photography has invariably leaned towards the documentary. Traditionally, this straightforward treatment deals with “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” The emphasis has always been on communicating the maximum amount of information about the flower, bird or landscape as clearly as possible. Technically, this approach has pretty much adhered to naturalistic camera angles, extensive depth of field, maximum sharpness and perfect exposure.

Let me suggest an alternative vision. In an age of image saturation, I’ve become less interested in what things look like than in what they feel like.”


Creativity Exercise

365 Project

Last month, I linked to a 365 project in the “Too Cool Not to Share” section of the eZine. I was so inspired by the idea that I decided to start my own. I’m now at day 29 of my one-a-day photographing. I highly recommend trying this. Only a month in, and it’s already been a very positive experience. I feel like I’m really growing creatively.

Something Every Photographer Needs to Know: Tip of the Month

Accept What You Find

Frequently, when I’m out shooting with a group of people on a workshop, or just for fun, I hear someone say “I wish…” “I wish there were no clouds in the sky.” “I wish there were more clouds in the sky.” “I wish there were horses in the field.” “I wish it were a little further along in the season so that the leaves on the trees were out.” You get the idea. I really believe that we must learn not to go out shooting with a preconceived notion of what we will capture that day. That limits us. Instead, we must be open to what we find. My one-a-day project is teaching me that there is always something to see and to photograph. It’s a matter of keeping an open and receptive mind. Be observant, and accept the way things are. After all, you can’t make Spring come faster, or put clouds in the sky! Instead, just look for the beauty of what is.

Too Cool Not to Share!

The Arctic Light

“Terje Sørgjerd is back with more beautiful timelapse nature photography. This latest video, The Arctic Light, was filmed between 29th April and 10th May 2011 in the Arctic, on the archipelago Lofoten in Norway.”

What’s New this Month at Ultimate Photo Tips

Learn About the Tools I Use

I find it interesting to know what other photographers are using in the way of gear, as well as in the digital darkroom. Sometimes I come across an idea I haven’t seen before, and I learn about a new tool that can help me in my craft. I thought I’d share what camera, lenses, accessories, hardware, software, and of course toys, I use, in case it helps any of you. Along with each item, I’ve included a brief and informal review of what I like (or sometimes don’t like) about it.

Your Thoughts

Where do you find photographic inspiration? I’ve just posted a new poll on my website. Find it in the right-hand navigation bar on any page. Cast your vote, and then see what others think.

Join us on Facebook

Ultimate Photo Tips is now on Facebook. Follow us there to keep track of what’s new, find creative inspiration, network with fellow enthusiasts, and check out an occasional photo or two!


Photo Challenges

The topic of May’s photo challenge was ” Creative Nature.” It was tough to find a creative technique that enhanced the subject matter, rather than detracting from it. Our winner, Daniela Negreda, did just that with her bright and bold image “Lens Painting.”

The topic for June’s challenge is “It’s All About the Light.”We all know that photography is about the light. This month, we’re looking for those images where the magic of the light made it all come together. This one’s wide open! It could be a sunset, a long exposure of vehicle lights, patterns of light and shadow, or even a rainbow. All photographs depend on light to be made; this month we want the ones where the light is what makes the image special. As photographers, we must train our eyes to seek out the good light. What are you waiting for? Let’s see those images!

Submit your “light” images here:

Happy shooting from Ultimate Photo Tips!