A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

Making ‘My’ Picture out of Nature

Making landscape or nature pictures a big question is what makes it special. What does the photographer add to ‘what is out there’? Without a personal touch, anyone could have made it, right? Unless one has purely documentary aims, like showing peculiarities and habits of animals, or what they exactly look like. Then making the photo ‘nice’ and personal is just an added bonus, so to speak. But for the creative photographers, there is little they can do, it seems: find a good composition and good light. From a magazine I picked up recently (UK-based Outdoor Photography), I learned not alone that waiting for good light is a serious business and that some will visit a spot for days just to find that glimmer of sun between the clouds. Inspiring but also daunting: when would I ever take the time for that? Moreover, I noticed that many pictures, although they were digital, were made with filters to regulate the light. Polarisation filters of course, to influence glimmers of light on water surfaces, but also neutral grey graded filters to reduce the intensity of the sky. (Is it time to get into high dynamic range (HDR) photography instead?)

My picture this time is of a simpler make, a shot with just a little addition of composition to it. I guess you can debate if I should not have cropped it more, deleting some of the unnecessary foreground and background. But the point was how the bird, a common redshank (‘tureluur’ in Dutch), was mirrored by the water of the little pool behind the beach, in which it was foraging. No dear reader, it was not just a lucky shot; it was the best of a short series, and yes, I did wait for it to happen, but no more than a few minutes–I’m just an amateur!


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