Sunday, October 13, 2013

Behind Every Nature Photographer....

November Berries from Stoney Creek Metropark
Nikon 7000, 105mm, ISO 320, f/5.6, 1/320 sec
Whether a professional or passionate about the hobby, we have or have had a support system that allows us to grow and improve each time we're behind the lens.

This support system can include the influencer, the mentors, the camera experts, the photography buddies, and of course, your partner.

Surround yourself with people that feed your addiction!

The influencer - who do you know that is active in photography?  The friend that has a camera with them always - either a smart phone or actual camera.  You watch them taking pictures while standing beside them thinking, "I wish I had a camera".  If this is you, let the influencer do their job.  Either pull out that camera sitting in the box out or go buy one!

The mentors - in today's social media world, there are many fantastic photographers networking on Facebook pages, Google pages, Twitter and other platforms.  There are also social media pages that share other artists works.  A few of these Facebook sites include:  MegashotSoulful NatureNature Photography Wildlife Photography, and Audubon Magazine.  On google pages, just find your communities of interest. The Birds 4 All community on Google+ as an example is dedicated to bird photography.

Mary artists on these pages are forthcoming with their settings, lenses used and general tips.  Just ask!

Early Fall Sunshine
Nikon 5100, 105mm, ISO 320, f/14, 1/6 sec
The camera experts - your camera's website is the most accurate place to go for the latest specs.  Our web hosts many technical reviewers, sources and materials.  Even with all the great information on the web, the best advice may come from your local camera dealer.  Talk to their experts, show them your work, ask for feedback - you'll get invaluable tips and ideas. In southeast Michigan, it's Woodward Camera.

Photography mentoring buddies - similar to the influencer and the mentor, you'll find a few go-to mentoring buddies that are great to go out in the field with and observe their perspective on subjects.  I have a few that I haven't met face to face but if I need help, they serve as a faithful 'how-to' lifelines.  These are photographers who share subject interests. They reciprocate feedback and conversation.  Check out their talented, varied nature photography work on Facebook:  Bruce Leonhardt PhotographyCraig Sterken PhotographyNathaniel Smiley PhotographyRose Marie's Pictures.  There are photography couples that share the passion side-by-side - 2 Browns Photography and Birgit and Juergen Pictures.

Your partner - you've been in the cold, the wet, the hot, the dry.  All the while, your partner showed patience until the bitter end when you've become a bit snap-happy.  Our partners show intense interest in our work, witness our progress and serve as a tie-breaker when deciding which image to use.

Starting the Day with a Song
Nikon 5100, 70-300 mm, ISO 320, f/9, 1/1000 sec
You - you are the artist behind the camera.  That image was not a result of 'having a camera that takes good pictures'.  Your images are personal, they share with others your eye of your subject.  They are a result of your work, study, patience and perseverance.