Lend some character

A few months back, I shot this Tolkienesque scene on the side of the river nearby, actually on the same outing that I chased down this special assignment. To get this angle, I was flat on my belly on a rock at the edge of the river, with my legs extending behind me into the water, far enough that my shorts were getting wet. That’s the kind of extremes I go to in pursuit of my interests.

Okay, granted, it’s not exactly National Geographic caliber hardships, but I’m not getting paid what those photographers are, either, so there! In fact, now that it’s online this pic will probably get ripped off.

Anyway, aside from simply showing it off, the point I’m making is that interesting compositions sometimes require a vantage that many people don’t consider. Looking down on these roots at your feet wouldn’t be half as compelling, and have none of the depth that this shows. While a lot of nature photography (and many other genres) require finding a good subject to begin with, it’s also important to try and render it in a captivating or dramatic way. This does sometimes mean getting wet or dirty, or doing something awkward or uncomfortable, but a wet crotch until I got home was worth the resulting images. I tend to think people are way too neurotic about getting dirty anyway – we’ve gotten far too soft. Flop down and get the shot. As Calvin’s dad says, it builds character.

Still won’t make it art, though.