WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY IS RIGHT IN YOUR BACKYARD!

white and black birds piercing on tree branch
Photo by daniyal ghanavati on Pexels.com

It is always a good idea to keep practicing your photo skills. One way to do that is to go out in your backyard and look for the different types of wildlife there is in your backyard. That could include squirrels, birds, butterflies, and other bugs. They all become a great photo opportunity.

Photo by Korie Cull on Unsplash

USE A GOOD TELEPHOTO LENS FOR WILDLIFE

To get the type of photo, like the very first picture of the bird above, you will need a good telephoto lens. This allows you to get your image to fill the frame. And of course the big thing, is that you don’t scare the animal away. You just can’t go up to most of these animals and ask them if you can take their picture.

Photographer using a macro lens

USE MACRO LENS OR CLOSE-UP FILTERS FOR INSECTS

A macro lens is the best lens for getting close-ups of bugs, critters, butterflies, rodents, etc. The price of a good macro lens could run you over $500 or more, but, you could also accomplish some good close-up photography with a set of “close-up filters”. Practice your aperture settings with macro photography, because if you use F2 to F5.6, you might find that the front of the bug is in focus and the back of the bug is not. Sounds like tripod work might be in order, or adjust your ISO setting to around 800 to 1200. Then you can have some help still with your shutter speeds.

SPECIAL TRAINING SESSION ON HOW TO BE CREATIVE IN YOUR BACKYARD:

And now, some ideas of how you can be creative with your back yard photography, here is a great YouTube video on being creative with wildlife photography in your own back yard. This is a great video from Nikon, and the European rep showing how to do the best work in your backyard. Please watch, because even I learned some great things from this video:

Just click on the play button and you will have this amazing training session.
praying mantis on a succulent plant
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Learn how to take pictures of insects:

female monarch butterfly perching on red petal flower
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Insects are one thing that is an interesting phenomenon in our world. Either we love them or hate them. Case in point: we all love the beautiful butterflies that we have adding beauty to our world. But, how about mosquitos or beetles or all the other things in our world. And you know, in photography, which insect or bug would you really enjoy taking pictures of anyway?

Today we want to help you learn how to take photos of “insects”. And what you need, and the composition rules etc.

1- Getting on the same level as the insect. 

2- Have patience when photographing insects. Following these tips would help create better photographs because it would have more creativity,

3- you can get better highlights in the eyes of the insect

4- taking photographs from different angles would create a good composition.

5- Get close to the insect, even if it means some specialized equipment.

close up photo of ladybug on leaf during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We can discuss several of these rules showing this photo above: Getting down to their level is a big key if you want to get the detail you need to make it look good. If you take it from the top, you will notice that all you would have is the back of the bug, and in this case you would miss the legs, and possible the “antennae” or feelers of the bug.

And then, you want to get close, really close to get a photo that looks good, and possible fill your frame. And taking close-up photos of insects can generally be done only with a Single Reflex camera. The least expensive way to get close is with a set of close-up filters. These filters come, usually, in a package of a +1, +2, +4, and +10. And they can be stacked as well. So, if you want to have a number #3 in close-up filters, you can simply add a +1, and +2 to get your +3. The higher the number, the closer you can get.

Nothing beats the versatility of a true macro lens. A macro lens is a normal lens you would have on your camera, but just has the capability of focusing extremely close. They are a bit more money, depending on your camera brand, but, if you are in to a lot of close up photos, then this will be a must.

The words marked in red will take you directly to a link on Amazon.com, so you can study out the product, and if so desire, purchase it through this link as well.

Notice in the steps above, it says to focus on the eyes of the insect. Can you even see them? Only if you have the equipment to get close enough. And a macro lens and a set of close-up filters is the only way you can see the eyes of an insect.

Photo by Revieshan on Unsplash

Sometimes it is really obvious where the eyes are on an insect, and other times you just know where the eyes are and use that for it’s focus point.

Why does it say to have patience in taking photos of insects? There are 2 factors that will cause you to use your patience. 1- A lot of insects are looking for food, and you just need to be patient in waiting for them to hold still. 2- Even the slightest wind will get the leaf, or blade of grass to move, so waiting for the wind to stop, so you won’t get a blurry picture, certainly does require some amazing patience.

Photo by Егор Камелев on Unsplash

If you can do the following, then your photo will be perfectly composed: Have the insect fill the screen as much as you can, and also give them something to stand on, like the blade of grass or a leaf. I think taking a photo of an insect, and getting them right smack in the middle of the photo is still one of those rules that’s broken a lot with this, and generally, this is going to be ok. But, check different angles to see if you can be more creative in taking photos of insects.

The list: 51 different subjects on photography.

We have now officially completed the left side of this lest. So, now we are half way done. Tomorrow, the subject turns to negative space, which is one of my favorite subjects. See you tomorrow.

HOW TO TAKE PICTURES OF “TOYS”

Photo by Yulia Matvienko on Unsplash

Is that an ice cream cone that Batman has for his weapon? toys are great things to take pictures of. Let’s take a look first at the reasons why you would even want to do that.

Photo by Ryan Fields on Unsplash

1- Take pictures of toys to have as a memory with your child.

The children you have in your home, whether they be your own, your grandchildren, you nephew, the neighbor child, whoever, there is some real memories in them playing with certain toys. One of the first things to get pictures of, is them personally playing with their toys ( like the photo above). Those will be precious memories years from now. I can testify of that, because my boys have all grown up, and funny, we had a discussion the other day of their favorite toys.

boy and girl sitting on bench toy
Photo by J U N E on Pexels.com

2- Take close-up photos of toys to use as decoration in the children’s room.

Nothing says “toys” or “toy room” like photos on the wall of some great toys. Now, here is the fun part of doing this: You should get a set of close-up filters or use a macro lens if you have it, and get up close to the toys, like you see in the above photo. It is very impressive how they make toys today. And make sure you get down on the same level as the toys.

3- Some toys are very elaborate and you should take photos of the child’s work.

lego toys are amazing. And some of these lego toys take a long time to build them.

And some of these lego toys are amazing and may come out as a collector item, if you and your child can keep it all together. So, take pictures of these amazing toys, for sure.

4- Track down some of your old toys, so you can show your children what you used to play with.
Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Taking photos of old toys is interesting for your children to see what you used to play with. Time to go down memory lane with your children. If you still have your old toys, perhaps you can pass them on for your children to play with.

Tip on photographing toys:

  • When photographing toys, make sure your “white balance” is working good. OR use natural daylight to use on your toys. Remember that the artificial lights in your home cast an orange color on everything. You don’t need to spend hours on your computer doing post production if you can get it right the first time.
  • Once again this is a test on how well you can do “close-up” photos. Get close to the subject so you can have it fill your frame. If you do it with your cell phone and you can’t get it close enough, maybe you will have to do some cropping to get your photos right (or buy a camera so you can do it right….. haha).

Words marked in red, like: toys will automatically pop up to a link showing you some great toys to check out. Try it: toys

focus photo of super mario luigi and yoshi figurines
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Tips on photographing your favorite fruit or vegetable !

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash
51 Different subjects on Photography! And I am going to do them all. Check previous blogs for subjects done.

Taking photos of your favorite vegetable or fruit, and still be creative, is a challenge. This photo above of the tomato, is technically a fruit, but used as a vegetable in most servings. (The tomato is the edible berry of the plant Solanum lycopersicum,commonly known as a tomato plant. – Wikipedia) To me, this is one of my favorite fruits or vegetables. There are many varieties of tomatoes, and I am growing in my own personal garden, about 8 different types of tomatoes, to see if one tastes better than all the rest. If I find I like most of them, then next year I will grow a nice tasty variety.

But taking pictures of tomatoes is an art. There is two ways to take this photo. 1- to make it look real yummy, I like the photo above, because the photographer had some water splashed on it, to give it that freshly picked, washed, ready to eat look. If that is the way you like it too, then notice it is placed on a dark background. That makes the tomato stand out than letting your eye wander to something else. Plus, it is a very nice photo to hang on the kitchen wall for decoration. 2- Get a photo of the tomato on it’s vine or plant, such as the one below:

Let’s look at another favorite of mine: the Pineapple. Funny name because it doesn’t look like anything from pine, and it doesn’t look like an apple, nor grows like either one.

Oh, mmmm, that looks so good. (The pineapple[2][3] (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with an edible fruit and the most economically significant plant in the family Bromeliaceae. — Wikipedia) To get a photo of any fruit or vegetable, get a plain backdrop like you see with the pineapple, and the tomato (above). That seems to be the most popular way of getting a good photo. For some people, it might be hard to get a photo of the actual pineapple plant, because it is a tropical plant. But, other ways to get photos of the fruits, is to show it in the bowl, ready to eat:

But, how do you take a photo of a very small fruit or vegetable, if that’s your favorite? I would recommend you either get a macro lens because it is designed to focus extremely close to the subject. And they make a macro lens for cell phones now as well.

The other idea, of course is to use close-up filters. This is a very inexpensive way to get close to the subject. I would recommend you get a set of 4 close-up filters so you can get as close as you need:

Make sure you get the right size for your lens.

And here is a couple of pictures of small fruit, using either close-up filters or a macro lens.

close up photo of a cherry fruits
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
close up photo of stacked chocolates bars beside raspberries
Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com
Conclusion:

If you are taking a photo of your favorite fruit or vegetable, get as close as you can, with a plain background is the ideal way to do this. Or, like the photo above, use the fruit alongside other things you are going to eat.

Words in red, provide a link to that subject. Just click on the word, and you will automatically be taken to the website, with more information about that word.