HOLY MISSING FOR MONTHS BATMAN! Okay, so maybe I am NOT among the top world’s greatest bloggers, BUT good things do come to those who wait! I think photos are in order. I’ve been connecting with nature in my native Florida because weather has been so beautiful it shouldn’t be wasted.
While, I’m not much of a nature photographer, I do like to please others. My sister and I go on frequent photowalks so we can hang out and do something we both enjoy. She’s given my old Canon Rebel XT DSLR a home and has breathed new life into it’s viewfinder, and in return I take her with me when I go out shooting.
This year on Halloween, we went to one of the scariest places on Earth….the swamp! Just kidding. It’s not so scary out there really. 🙂 She has has never been to a National Park, and a National Preserve is the closest we have that I haven’t already enjoyed 100 times already. She wanted to see some Alligators and so I showed her some. Big Cypress National Preserve is a huge vast place, very calming and peaceful, but quite honestly, not so scenic. Everglades National Park which is very close to the preserve has a lot more things to experience. We walked around looking for the infamous “Skunk Ape” and had a good chuckle, indeed.
Want to get the most out of a day trip to a National Park or similar place?
1. Research. Do your homework and spend an hour or so reading up on the place you will be visiting. I often don’t follow this advice because I like to be surprised, admire adventure, and aren’t easily disappointed. However, if you are taking a super long trip and don’t want to feel let down, read up a little so you know what to expect and can plan accordingly. Check maps for the best vantage points. Look at Flickr for perhaps hidden or well know spots that are a must-see!
2. Bring your Patience. The one thing about photographing wildlife is a true test of your patience. I have sat for sometimes hours, observing the wildlife and their patterns. It takes skill to get the perfect shot, but it also takes patience waiting for it to happen. Unlike portraits of your family or friends, nature moves at her own pace and there’s no opportunity for posing.
3. Remember your composition. In photographing animals, or landscapes, (it matters for people too) you simply must have a strong sense of composition to really make the image pop. It is especially important when you are photographing a landmark, or something that has “been done.” You want to stand out, and composition is the next important thing beyond the subject. Please the eyes, and they will come back for more.
4. Bring a telephoto lens. When observing wildlife, it is generally understood to be illegal to harass, molest, or otherwise bother animals in the wild. This applies from city to national parks and most places in between. Remember, that just because animals tell you themselves, you must give them space. They feel the stress and threatened just as you and I would. So stay away, and use a longer lens to capture the memory.