The Zen of Photography.
Nature photography is like meditation for me. When I am outside in nature I am totally focused on the beauty that is all around me. It is the one time that I am relaxed and at peace. The sounds of the waves at the beach, birds and small animals in the woods, the quiet and solitude of being alone outdoors, minus the constant intrusion and noise of everyday life, allows me to slow down and breathe! I am able to silence the chatter in my own head as well, the worries, plans, regrets…if only for a little while. I often just sit, basking in the beauty of my surroundings. To photograph wildlife I have to be quiet, aware. I have to control my movement and even my breathing when taking a photo. Photography has taught me patience; I have often sat in one spot for hours waiting for an eagle to fly or a baby owl to turn towards me so I could get the shot. I especially like taking photos of birds in flight but it is definitely not an easy feat. Of course I am not always successful in getting the photo I want. There are a lot of variables which differentiate a good photo from a great photo. The lighting, color, composition, focus & timing are all important aspects of a good photo. But for me, capturing or eliciting emotion, telling a story and/or having a unique point of view are the most important components of a great photo. The feeling of finally getting the photo I had envisioned in my mind is amazing! So is being in the right place at the right time with my camera in hand; like catching a shot of a fish jumping over an alligator who was trying to eat him, or stumbling (not literally) upon an alligator sunning himself in the middle of the trail I was hiking, or coming across a doe and her spotted fawn just before they leaped back into the woods. So there are times, like yesterday, when I waited for two hours for a Bald Eagle to fly and times, like today, when I had just arrived at the beach and had barely gotten my camera out as the eagle took off flying towards the Gulf, caught a fish and flew back towards me with the fish in his talons! That is the Yin & Yang of nature photography.