During my photography workshops I always mention that to take an interesting photo requires certain skills. A very important one is to have an eye for details, color and structure. A good exercise is to look at patterns and details in nature. You can go to a forest or in my case a mountain field with lots of rocks.
I just looked at pattern and details on rocks and little stones. Before you know it you get sucked in all the nice color contrasts and then the goal is to focus on a nice frame.
Here are some examples of my study of nature patterns. All taken with a Canon 5DMII – Sigma 150 macro lens and a tripod.
With some hesitation, because of the low light and weather conditions I decided to go ‘mushroom hunting’. Like yesterday there was a lot of wind. The ground was very wet and the temperature was mild, a good combination for mushrooms to grow.
Local people say that when we have a full moon mushrooms grow best ?!
I found what I was looking for, some very small Bonnets and one of my favorite mushrooms the Amethyst Deceiver. Because of the wind I decided to try out some different Soft Focus shots with color contrast. Not an easy task when everything blows away around you. A stable underground is a must, so I set my tripod very low to the ground and my little silver reflector screen provided the mushrooms with enough light. Because of the overcast day the colors gave a nice clear contrast.
I like to play with the point of focus in the image frame. In this image I focused on the tiny little mushroom with a small fly on it.
Flowers are one of photographer’s favourite subjects. They have great colours and beautiful details. What I like about Flower Photography is to capture a nice colour contrast. Colour contrast is used less frequently because many people do not think about it.
This is a pity because an image with a good colour contrast can look so much more interesting. So it is not only the light we have to look for in Photography.
Since most nature photographers work in colour it is important to understand how colour contrast works. My first introduction to this subjects was during on of my painting classes, a real eye-opener by playing with primary colours (Red, Yellow and Blue) to get -the best- contrast.
When later on I started to get interested in Photography I read a book by Tony Sweet, Fine Art Flower Photography. In this book you can see what the effects are by using
-the right- colours together in your composition. Looking for the right colour in the background or in the foreground then becomes a primary goal. Over the years I have experimented different colour contrasts and saw the difference in my work.
The colour wheel helps you look for a good colour contrast in your image. Click on this interactive colour experience to get a basic understanding how colours work.