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on May 29, 2014 in Wildlife Photography

The Simple Art of Beauty

Sandwich Tern 0368

There is no finer way to bring out the uncommon from the common than with the simple art of beauty. All critters have a beauty about them even if it’s just a moment in time during a day. That moment is one that as humans, we can impose our own feelings and connect to that critter. And this is just part of the equation because to bring that back in our photos, we need to tell this story along with the world in which the critter lives. In this example, it’s the world of two birds that spend their lives at the edge of the sea. The Sandwich Tern is a small bird that isn’t really a big fan of us humans. The Semi Palmated Plover is even smaller than the tern, smaller than a tennis ball. They both find comfort being around other small birds as they go about the beach foraging, sleeping or preening. And in telling their story and bringing their beauty alive in our photos calls for the same basic approach.

Semi Palmated Plover 0156

First is the light. You simply can’t go wrong with the soft, diffused light early morning brings especially with a slight layer of overcast. With sand bouncing up and filling in what shadows there are, you can take advantage of side lighting to bring out shape, color and texture. To make them visually pop out from their busy world of the sand, getting down low makes all the difference in the world. And by lying on the sand shooting, they figure you’re so stupid to lay in the mud with your expensive gear, you can’t be a threat so come close to you. Shooting with the D4s / 800mm on the Panning Plate, the Sandwich Tern stood in place as the tide slowly came in and wrapped around its feet. The Semi Palmated Plover walked over to see what I was doing looking right down the lens barrel. And the final photos, well none of this screams out. All they do is reach out and grab heart strings and in doing so, brings to life the simple art of beauty