Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

Prairie Sunrise

Prairie Sunrise
Prairie Sunrise

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Natural Still Life

I found myself one day sitting on the trunk of a blown down tree that had fallen along the edge of a creek I was hiking around. I wasn't doing much of anything other than sitting and enjoying some much needed nature time. A few birds flittered in and out but I was unable to capture any meaningful images. Mostly I just sat there...being still.

Afer a short time I began to see photo opportunities around me that I did not see before. To my right a part of the old tree roots stuck out. I pointed my camera in that direction and zoomed in to tighten the frame. As I shifted the frame around a natural still life came into view and I fired off several quick images. Of all the images I took that day, that particular unexpected event produced the most pleasing of the batch.

Sometimes you just gotta be still to be able to see a Natural Still Life. I like most neurotic photographers tend to move to quickly and fail to see what is really there. I want to jump around looking for the Big Picture...the big landscape...big sky shots, when often it is the small more subtle opportunities that provide us with the best shots.

There are times I go through dry spells where I seem to have lost my edge and my work tends to look clicheish and ordinary. When that happens, I will often purposely find a location and sit still and allow the opportunity come to me. Eventually, I will see's just a matter of remaining still long enough to let it happen.


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