Playing With Patterns

Nature never ceases to amaze me with its intricate, repeating details.  When the light isn’t as dramatic as you hoped is often the perfect time to ferret out the small scenes that are ‘hidden’ in plain view all the time.  Develop your ability to see these beauties, and you will never want for a subject to photograph.  I’m particularly drawn to photographing trees and especially the graphic, linear nature of tree trunks.  Using a telephoto to compress the apparent distance between tree trunks reinforces the consistency of pattern in these kinds of shots.

And, on cool or humid days in the mountains, don’t despair if you inadvertently fog up your lens or polarizer!  Sometimes interesting images come from dumb mistakes.  Roll with it!  (Or, “I meant to do that.”)

Changing point of view can make for dramatic changes in how a subject is perceived.  Take this dense, patterned shot of some mountain avens:

And then compare to this image with more of a bug’s eye-view:

I didn’t trip and fall!  I’m seeing the world from the perspective of a small, crawling insect!  I meant to do that!  In workshops, I’m always encouraging photographers to move around more and try different points of view.  Happy with your shot?  Why not lay on the ground and see how it looks!  Is there any way to look down on your subject matter?  How does changing your point of view alter what you decide to fit in the frame?  Sometimes, just changing the level of the camera can lead to many new creative images.

Speaking of moving around, if you are a moderately fit photographer, you may want to head over to the Nature Photographers Network to catch my article about hiking and photographing in Sunset Pass, Banff National Park.  When the highways of the national parks are crawling with tourists like fleas on a mangy dog, getting just a few kilometres off the beaten path can lead to some stunning image-making potential.  All the images I made on that hike were taken with a Canon G11 (as were the images made in this posting!) so be smart, pare down your gear and get out there!

And finally, on the subject of paring down.  This year has seen some exciting new ventures and projects that Darwin and I have been involved with.  But we have found that you can easily become too spread out when you are trying to contribute to multiple websites or run many projects.  So, we have decided to make some changes to our respective businesses, and one of those changes is to withdraw from some of our projects.  Unfortunately this means that Visual Wilderness is one such project that we won’t be continuing on with.  Although quite successful due to the support of you, our friends and readers, to make Visual Wilderness what it could be requires more time and effort than four photographers, each with their own websites and businesses, can afford.  The site will still be live for a period of time (click here to read about discounts on eBooks!).  A big thanks to all who supported the site, and stay tuned for future eBooks and products from Jay and Varina and myself and Darwin.

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~ by Samantha on August 7, 2011.

2 Responses to “Playing With Patterns”

  1. Sam, Nice article and photos; I especially like the 2nd one. I like your attitude because you already know 1+1=2 but you try to make it 2.2 or even more.

  2. Thanks, Hiro! I appreciate your comment given your diverse photographic skills.

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