Thursday, September 15, 2016

When Nature Doesn't Provide, Get Creative

As an outdoor / landscape photographer, I'm at the mercy of nature.   The wind, light, clouds and other conditions, can make really nice photographs.   More often than not, the conditions are not all that conducive to making good photographs.  Such was the case this morning at Warriors Path State Park.

I had gone there to scope out photography opportunities for a photography class I'm teaching.   My students will meet me there Saturday morning and I want to have some idea if I should take them left or right in search of photographs.  I wandered around for a while not finding much to capture my attention.  At one point I found this branch sticking out of the surface of the lake.  I tried to create something in the minimalist style and came up with this.

Not much there to get excited about.   Then I recalled throwing pebbles into the water to create ripples, making a scene possibly a little more interesting.   Lucky for me the lake shore was littered with round rocks perfect for tossing in the lake.   The results weren't much better.  Then I tossed a bigger rock in the lake and the splash caught my eye.

What if I zoomed in and captured the water splashing up?  The sunlight was coming from the side, making the splash brighter than the reflections in the water and highlighting the texture of the water drops in mid-air without being too bright. It was only me doing the tossing and shooting, but I had plenty of time and rocks.   I would toss a rock, put my camera up to my eye, guess where the rock would hit the surface and try to time the shot just right.  Let's just say I played the law of averages - take enough photos that one or two may work out.   People out for their morning walk at the park probably shook their head and the crazy guy with the camera down on the lake shore.

Here are the results of my creative rock tossing.

Bass jumping with mouth open

Jumping Leaf

Water Fountain

Man Looking Over A Wall

See The Face?

All were taken at 200mm, f/4.5, ISO 400 - 800.   Shutter speeds varied between 1/250 and 1/800.

In the end, I had fun and created some fun scenes to photograph.   Don't let conditions keep you from shooting.   Go out and see what you can find and maybe even create some really cool conditions for photography.


  1. These are great! I think #2 is a Flamenco Dancer. :)

  2. And what you learned in this session will doubtless make for a killer image sometime down the road.