Digital Photography and A Love of Nature

For those of you that have been seduced by nature photography I’m sure at times you’ve been left thinking how much photography has contributed to your love of nature. This can be particularly true in the digital age where a camera can be a tool for artistic expression or at the other extreme very useful for collecting data. After returning from a day in the field, we have immediate access to the images taken. This allows us to savor the experience in ways that were impossible in the days of film. Sometimes an image is not only pleasing but offers important information that may have been missed had we just relied on a quick glance through the binoculars, “Wow, that was a Meadow Fritillary not a Aphrodite”!

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However, film had the advantage of forcing us to count the cost before we decided to photograph a subject. That in turn immediately assigning value to the subject and our efforts. In the digital age we live with a dearth of own images as well as the images of others which can act to trivialize our efforts. We click the shutter with little thought of the cost so the subject becomes less important, a momentary diversion before we move on the next target. But, if there is sufficient interest and motivation, digital photography can allow us to explore the subject a ways that would have been cost prohibitive in the past. Digital cameras have also introduced a level of spontaneity and play to photography that it never had before.

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Finally, given that almost anybody with some skill or luck can take a decent picture, a quick review of images on the Internet would seem to indicate that in a search for uniqueness post processing, which offers control never dreamed of in the days of film, has become a bigger part of the equation. We now live in an Internet world full of incredibly jacked-up “fantasy” shots of just about every subject in our world and beyond. These images blur the line between traditional photography that in the past was thought to reflect some sense of reality, and art. So we are challenged to ask ourselves what it is that we’re trying to say. Is our goal to render the subject as one might see it with the naked eye or as something more?

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Since there is no going back I’m left thinking about my own modest efforts at photography. Fortunately I remain unshaken, despite my own dearth of images. For me nature photography will always be a celebration of and reverence for the subject.  As long as photographs taken continue to express that love I will continue to venture out camera in hand.

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Below are images taken in and around Columbus during the last week:

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Tree roots along the Scioto River on a sunny day.

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White-throated Sparrow below Griggs Dam

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An ever elusive Kingfisher in the distance, Scioto River below Griggs Dam

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Yellow-rumped Warbler along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam

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Just managed to catch this Golden-crowned Kinglet along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam.

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Reflections, Big Darby Creek, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Bluebirds are common this time of year in Griggs Park.

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Goldfinch, Griggs Park, (Donna)

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Path, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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The False Dragonhead is still blooming, Griggs Park, (Donna)

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The dance of the dueling Downies, Griggs Park

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. . . the dance continues. (Donna)

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. . . and continues. (Donna)

 

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. . . on their own unique dance floor. (Donna)

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Acrobatic squirrel, Griggs Park, (Donna)

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Enjoying a Black Walnut, Griggs Park

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The squirrels have been busy, Griggs Park

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Scioto River below Griggs Dam

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Auricularia auricular, Jelly Ear , Griggs Park

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From another angle, (Donna)

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Bear Lentinus, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Autumn morning light, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Eastern Comma (a bit tired), Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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Meadow Fritillary, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

Walking in Griggs Park we can’t help but notice the Milkweed Bugs. They are very common and will even appear on warmer winter days.

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Milkweed Bugs, pretty but don’ try and eat them!

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Road along the reservoir, Griggs Park

3 Comments on “Digital Photography and A Love of Nature

  1. Since the goal of my blog is getting people interested in nature what I see is what they get, but at times nature can be very abstract or impressionistic. You got some great shots of your area. I don’t think I’ve ever seen those particular wood ears.

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