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Photography Lessons from My Dad: Part II

April 22, 2009
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See Part I here.

In addition to the “Three Ps of Nature Photography,” my dad also talks about how the gadget collecting so common to photographers is totally unnecessary.  Why, says he, spend hard-earned dollars on a nifty thingamajig when an everyday item will do the job just as well, and for free?

I had my first experience applying this particular piece of advice on my camping trip last weekend.  To get the image below, I was shooting nearly straight into the sun, and didn’t have a lens hood with me – and, in any case, I’m not sure a lens hood would have done much good, since the angle of my lens was too extreme.  My first few shots were full of glare, which while sometimes a neat effect didn’t work for me here.  So what’s a photographer to do?

Enter: the cutting board.  Yes.  A white, plastic, IKEA cutting board fresh from chopping the dinner veggies.  I was able to hold it just outside the frame, eliminating the glare without shading the scene.  In fact, I think the reflective white cutting board may have actually contributed to the light in this shot, but that could be my imagination.

I do wish more of this image was in focus (a common complaint these days), but it’s at least not terrible.  It’s nice to feel like I’m progressing a bit, however slowly.

This picture has nothing to do with my dad – I just think it’s kinda neat.  Chris engineered this shot, actually; he got bored waiting by the side of the trail while I took innumerable shots of a tiny wildflower, so he made this little twig fence, and asked me to shoot it from the ground with the trail in the background.  I think it turned out kind of nifty – I like the compressed feel that the wide angle lens gives this shot.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2009 8:56 am

    Your dad is a wise man. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, your cutting board idea is unique. I have used white paper before but I have to try your idea.

    • The Little Woman permalink
      April 23, 2009 7:24 am

      Thanks – I think my dad is pretty wise too. 🙂

  2. April 23, 2009 5:50 am

    Wonderful photography

    The Pine needles is really cool.

    That is very artistic.

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