Osprey in Flight (Three Photographs and Thoughts on Nature Photography)
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When I started nature photography I did not really know where to start. Over time I have given thought to the things that make it work for me. The first thing is to get close enough that the subject is clear and the corollary that the background does not over-power the subject. Secondly you need some context or impact so the subject says something, usually this means including more than the subject so a story or circumstances are clear. Thirdly, the most important features must be sharp and clearly seen (eyes, wings, etc.). Paradoxically, like most rules, the reverse of all these points can be effective as well. With birds in flight distance gives them meaning, negative space gives them context and some movement even if minor, is expected. These are the things I think about when capturing what my eye sees (p.s. it looks like I may be giving a talk on just this subject later this year).