Bright Lights Big Leaf

A reader writes:

Man, I love how you photograph water!

And someone else asks:

How do you do this? I am so jealous…wink, wink!

Of course, I appreciate the compliments (who wouldn’t?). But without being overly modest, I think photography is more about seeing than about technique. It’s easy enough to describe the tools and techniques I used for these photos:

Nikon D70 manual, Lens Baby 2.0 +14 macro filters, ISO 200, f/8.0 aperture ring, shutter speeds of 1/320 of a second (upper photo) and 1/400 of a second (photo below). Post processing included adding contrast gradients in Photoshop and extreme sharpening of specific elements, but was otherwise routine.

But knowing how I did it doesn’t mean that I could ever do it again (or that you could do it, no offense). Mostly the issues are being there and seeing:

  • Being there with a camera in the first place with one’s head in a “taking photos” frame of mind.
  • Seeing the photo twice: once in the camera viewfinder as something special, and once more when looking through the photos one has taken.

In these days of digital photography, I think it helps to learn to see with the possibilities of digital post-manipulation in mind when you start to compose the photo.

Now, here’s a question: a while back after a couple of readers requested it I started adding meta information about the tools and techniques I used on each photo. Do you find this helpful, or not? Please let me know.

Queing Water Drops

Click to view this photo larger.

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