Notes on learning photography (Part 3)

Getting close to our subjects in nature photography

I have skimmed through the article on the basics of nature photography. It’s a good summary of the basic nature photography tips that I have been reading and learning from. The tip on getting close to the subject is especially useful to me because when I first started taking photographs of wildlife years ago, I tended to shoot them from a distance and the film camera I was using has limited zoom, only about 2 or 3 times zoom, I think. I remember I was disappointed when the photograph I took of a heron at the bird park turned out small and showed mainly the surroundings. It was not like those amazing, detailed close-up pictures of birds I saw in nature books. Since then, I have learnt to get closer to the wildlife and use a camera with more powerful zoom to take close-up pictures of them.

Capturing the moments for life

I have read this forum discussion on “What does your photography mean to you?” and I can relate to some of the things people shared about what photography means to them, such as connecting with the subjects being photographed, framing our world through photographs, expressing our perspectives of life, and capturing moments that allow us to revisit and relive them in future.

Captioning our photographs

I have read this article on a similar topic about what our photography means to us, and I agree with the writer about the importance of putting captions to our photographs, which “helps one see the “meaning” in an image”. When I read books or magazines such as National Geographic, I would tend to read the captions of photos to understand the context of the photos better. Captions can be long or short, for describing the subjects or the locations.

Historical purpose of photographs

I also realise that the elements in our photographs can serve a historical purpose that enables us to trace back to the approximate time period or era in which they were taken. For example, the kind of buses on the roads, or the fashion or dressing style of people, or the designs of certain buildings etc can all remind us of that time when these were common or popular back in those days.

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