I have no problem photographing the ordinary and trying my hardest to make it look flattering, but every once in a while you stumble upon an animal or scenic opportunity that you feel very lucky to have encountered. That’s how I felt when I discovered a group of young American Alligators calling for their not too distant mother. I assumed I would have plenty of opportunities to photograph adult Gators on my Florida trip, but didn’t dream of a golden chance like this.
This was one of my favorite recent bird photos. Getting a sharp close photo of any songbird is usually somewhat of an accomplishment, but capturing one doing something “cutesy” can be especially endearing.
This photo was largely the result of right time, right place. But composition-wise I knew I wanted a bit of negative space on the right side of the frame, so the image would not appear too crammed. I went with an aperture of F/7.1 to pull some of the vegetation into focus as well as ensure decent sharpness throughout the bird’s body.
I read a lot about “must have” post-processing programs and plug-ins to “get the most out of photography”. I think the trends like adding background textures, post-processing blurs, and over-the-top HDR programs will eventually go the way of the Dodo.
Do you think Ansel Adams would have benefited from importing someone else’s floral patterns behind his powerful mountain images with often ominous storm clouds? Probably not. Did he go beyond basic post-processing? Not really (mostly what I consider rudimentary contrast enhancements). Does his photography have some of the greatest longevity we’ve yet to see? Of course!
If I don’t see semblance of a compelling image through my viewfinder or in the Camera Raw preview, I simply move on, and try to compose better next time I shoot.
Just my two cents.