The Big Picture

Newborn Red Dog fbIf your goal is like mine, to take great images of the natural world, let’s take a moment to think about how we look at the world in general, before you even pick up that camera. Take a pretend step forward  just for a minute and imagine that you already know everything you need to know about working with your camera and that you have in your possession all the equipment you will ever need.  This might be a small step for some, and huge leap for others, but it doesn’t matter. Relax, and let’s look at the big picture for a minute.

Good photographs are more than the sum of tools and technique. An image can be technically correct in every way, and still be boring.  A good photograph tells a story.  The image itself gives us some insight into what life was like for that brief moment in time.

Good photographers are visual story tellers. Their images tell a story without saying a word – no caption necessary.  To begin thinking about where you find these stories, you might start with this age old question: Are we a part from the natural world (human exceptional-ism) or are we a part of it? How you answer will influence the way you see and photograph the natural world.  I suspect that most people taking the time to read this far consider themselves in the “a part of” camp.  I like to think of myself that way too. I extend that theory to almost all members of the animal kingdom but I do have to admit that I sort of draw a line with spiders.

This is an image I just took this weekend and it tells a story I’ve wanted to capture for some time now. Here you have a newborn with umbilical cord attached and mother’s milk on its mouth, bonding with mom and depending upon her protection.  Now that’s a sweet story :)

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