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on Feb 21, 2018 in Wildlife Photography

What’s In Your Favorite?

Glossy Ibis
captured by D5 / 800mm

There are so many “things” that go into a photograph! There is the great, brand, f/stop, shutter speed and of course, the Photoshop concerns. The one “thing” that I find many photographers don’t consider or act upon is the most important element to go into a photograph, themselves! Ya, there are all the worries, the … will this qualify for the camera club judging or the … will I get a bunch of likes on Facebook, but what about your wants, desires, your favorites? What is it YOU want in your photograph? This is the most difficult because all I just listed and more plus the fact there is no, (insert your name here) Menu Setting or Slider that automatically puts (insert your name here) instantly into the formula. Do you even know what that might be if you could have such a setting?

I can tell you some of mine, the Glossy Ibis above is a good example of them. All my images require light, not just light but a light that captures the imagination to tell the story. Then, there is what you see is what I saw, no cropping or post finishing. That’s a must in my critter photos (landscape and aviation see Photoshop but still no cropping)! Next, I have to have the light that’s going to lead your eye through the frame. Then the critter has to share with all of us that moment of, of, of, well there’s the important part that I don’t have a word for. I hate to say gesture because so many don’t understand this important element in a photograph. With the Glossy Ibis, it’s not just its stare but how the light brings out the white eyebrow above the bill that follows the stare that goes with the curve of the bill that the light kisses that are framed by the reeds … etc, etc, etc. That’s the gesture that made me stop to wait for the moment.

And that, in a long-winded explanation is what I wait for in all my photographs that I want to share, to reach out to the viewer and if all goes right, grabs heartstrings. But I know that’s what I want, what I’m looking for, what I need in my own mind as a formula that BEGINS the photographic process. That “other stuff,” the technical is there, in the background, for a heartbeat and then it’s thrown by the wayside as it comes time to record the moment. I think knowing YOURSELF is really the key here more than knowing brand for exposure equation. I honestly feel you need to know what’s in your favorite!

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