photgraghy and the natural world go together as hand-in-glove.
We know of naturalists in the tea-time of life, whose
enthusiasms for the splendours of the natural world,
have been rejuvenated. Now you may identify and confirm
that plant when you get home, prove that you saw that
rare bird, but best of all, have a lifetime record
of the wonders that you witness.
can immediately send a copy to anyone in the world,
you may sharpen or brighten the picture, crop it,
make a montage, the only storage space required is
that of your computer, it is instant, and once you
have purchased a memory card there is no additional
cost of film. If you see something unusual, take a
hundred pictures if you wish, and one will be sharp.
If not, give-up.
you persist with film cameras, then you probably like
George Formby films, continually moan about ‘the
youngsters today’, believe that kids should
be hit because ‘It never did me any harm,’
you whistle to Bing Crosby songs, listen to the wireless
and could do with a good thrashing.
critics might say that the interest is solely in getting
‘the’ picture then moving on, photographing
but not seeing. Most natural history converts to digital
photography report that in practise they now spend
longer than before with a subject, and observe behavioural
patterns. It will be noticed for example, that a Clouded
Yellow butterfly never opens its wings when it settles,
some butterflies, such as the Speckled Wood, are territorial,
often returning to the same leaf, whilst the Orange
Tip appears to be forever on the wing.
buy your camera, a spare battery, plenty of memory
cards and click away. Put your settings to ‘Fine’,
(you get fewer pictures per card but so what?) and
take as many pictures as you wish. Is it worth usung
RAW? Usually not. Writing about RAW is just for filling
photography simply a poor substitute to a good drawing
or painting? If I could be an artist, an impressionist,
or just 10% as good as a Gordon Beningfield, Christina
Hart-Davies or an Eileen Soper, then I would hang
up my shoulder straps. Without a doubt, the world’s
worst artist, repeatedly I was told that everyone
could be taught to draw and paint. I was guarded of
such claims, but I bought the books, attended two
sessions of evening classes and sure enough - - -
- I will continue to take photographs.
those who have frequented the Charles Renee Macintosh
museum in Glasgow, you may recall that every day,
he would exhibit a solitary flower immediately outside
his studio. This to remind his students, that however
self-satisfied and accomplished they may be, they
could never compete with the beauty of nature.
vast majority of wildlife photography there is no
recourse needed for arty-farty distortions. There
are really only 2 types of picture required: the subject
in its habitat, or the subject filling the screen.
You may wish to make a montage or improve the quality,
but little more is required; it is best left to fine
artists for any extraneous interpretations.
it may even convert wildfowlers, egg-collectors and
other hunters. Some use the excuse that they hunt
to be near to nature, it is in our blood. Maybe, but
that does not mean we have to do it. Egg-collectors
are now less abundant, but they are still around and
no doubt breeding. They collect the eggs of the species
that can least afford them, being the rarest. Well,
photography brings one near to nature, and rather
than having a pinned butterfly or a dead goose as
the trophy, now they can have a substitute trophy
of their day in the fields and a better one at that.
A beautiful picture of the bird, glorified and alive
in its natural surrounds.