Without doubt there is something awe inspiring and wholesome in the big view. Every
year there are vast arrays of calendars all full of pretty landscape pictures
adorning our high street shops. Many we can relate to and one day would like to see
for ourselves. Indeed, we are fortunate in this country to be blessed with such
wonderfully diverse scenery. From the wide open spaces of the fens to the rugged
mountains of Cumbria, Wales and Scotland. From rolling meadows to dramatic
coastlines they all have an important part to play. However, sometimes with such a
grand vista it is difficult to fully appreciate its beauty simply because there is
nowhere for the eye to settle, no point on which to concentrate. There is just too
much to take in. It is just so overwhelming.
However, if we take a fresh approach and look hard for a moment at just part of this
scene we begin to see and appreciate the finer features of the individual pieces of
the landscape. Look at how they combine, fitting together like the pieces of a large
jigsaw to make the complete picture. But let us now break it down into its basic
components and take time to contemplate the colors, shapes and textures. We can
then take this notion even further and that distant bright yellow patch becomes, on
closer inspection, a rich and riotous stand of Broom. If we move closer still to the
broom we see clearly the perfection and intricate detail in each flower and seedpod.
Look even closer at the seedpod with its gossamer covering of fine hairs, each one
an individual but reliant on its close neighbors and we can begin to understand how
things fit together. Whilst this may not be a scientific approach it provides a raw
and basic understanding, offers enlightenment and makes us feel an integral part of
nature. So by isolating and concentrating on a small part of the whole we have
simplified the subject. Made it more memorable, more basic and more powerful.
We have now entered the world of close ups in nature, a world that lies just beyond
the familiar that is so full of rich detail and striking beauty. With an open mind,
a little imagination and an almost childlike curiosity there are many more subjects
for us to consider. There is certainly no need to go far. Indeed finding close ups
in nature should be seen as more of a soul searching journey, a journey of inner
vision and contemplation rather than a journey to some far off place. Furthermore,
the deeper we delve the more fascinating and rewarding they become. They reveal
their hidden treasures without hesitation allowing us time to reflect and admire
their majesty. With this awareness the nature photographer is indeed privileged.
With this attention to detail it becomes easier to understand that the whole is
clearly made up of many individual parts that are all unique. All these parts
inter-relate with each other and no doubt they all have a vital role to play.
Indeed, it is only by appreciating the importance of the smallest parts of our
planet that I believe we can start to make any sense of nature as a whole. There is
also emotion and drama to be found in these little cameos that we so often overlook,
it may be something as simple as a single delicate flower growing in a boulder
crevice. Hanging on and defiant, its tenuous grip on life is totally dependent on
the sustenance that it draws from the debris residing in the crevice. Yet it lives
on year after year, testimony indeed to its determination and resilience. It is this
interrelationship that is so enduring, fundamental and compelling.
As a nature photographer getting close to nature is a very important part of my
life. It allows a far greater appreciation of the beauty and a clearer understanding
of the natural world in which we live. Take for example a clear cold winters day
with crispness so sharp it is breathtaking. When we start to look for close ups in
nature in these conditions we are immediately drawn to magical patterns in the snow,
frosted ivy leaves and shimmering icicles. Ice patterns are one of my favorite
winter subjects as they offer such diversity and literally capture a moment frozen
in time. Some offer gracefully smooth curves whilst others display harsh jagged
lines depending on the prevailing weather conditions. So even something as simple as
a puddle icing over is heavily influenced by its immediate surroundings.
Light quality will also play a significant part in our appreciation of the finer
details of these shapes and textures, if it is too harsh then the increase in
contrast will actually block out the very detail we are trying to see. It is far
better to have the diffused light that occurs with high thin cloud cover. This
provides a much softer light allowing all the detail, texture and nuances to be so
clearly seen. Subject color will also influence our interpretation of the subject,
for example vibrant colors like reds and yellows suggest dominance and power,
whereas muted shades like grey and browns portray more tranquil, earthy and basic
Early morning is often a fine time to appreciate a wide range of subjects and a
stroll in the garden will pay dividends. Flowers and grasses, for example when
covered with dew or fine rain make fascinating studies, the fine hairs hold onto
droplets of water so that they almost defy gravity. If the conditions are right
there may be insects that have become encrusted with minute droplets of water
following a night's inactivity. Butterflies in particular look stunning covered in
dew as it makes them sparkle as though covered with a myriad of jewels.
So, with renewed vision and childlike wonder the natural world is without doubt a
beautiful place that only requires a little time and an inquisitive mind to fully
appreciate. Satisfaction and contentment can be provided by the simplest of things
and with this comes harmony and hopefully inner peace.
My Outdoor Eyes Photography Blog|
Eastern Kingbird At Our Bird Bath On Cape Cod
What a treat it was to see this Eastern Kingbird at our bird bath her on Cape Cod. We saw our first eastern Kingbird about a month ago at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. We had never seen one before. So now to see one in our own backyard is really cool!
The Yuccas Are Blooming And Hardy Here On Cape Cod
The Yuccas are absolutely stunning this year on Cape Cod. I wonder if it’s because of all the moisture that we’ve had. I saw this “pastoral scene” with the luscious Yuccas on one of my early morning bike rides around to the different beaches. It’s amazing what you can see when you’re not worried about … Continue reading The Yuccas Are Blooming And Hardy Here On Cape Cod
Baby Baltimore Oriole In The Bird Bath On Cape Cod
We have so many baby Baltimore Orioles in our yard this summer! It is so much fun. This little guy was still wet from his bath. The coloring of the babies is so different from the adults with almost muted yellow and brown coloring. I loved the yellow Daylilies in the background. Cute little guy, … Continue reading Baby Baltimore Oriole In The Bird Bath On Cape Cod
Purple Climbing Nightshade Wildflower At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
The Climbing Nightshade wildflowers, also known as Bittersweet Nightshade, are just beautiful at Fort Hill in Eastham on Cape Cod. You can see them on the trail near the Cutting Rock or on the trail leading up to the overlook parking lot. Climbing Nightshade wildflowers are a climbing vine with purple shooting star-shaped flowers of … Continue reading Purple Climbing Nightshade Wildflower At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
American Copper Butterfly At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
I almost missed this little American Copper butterfly at Fort Hill on Cape Cod. He was pretty camouflaged until he opened his wings for a second and I saw the beautiful orange color and black spots. American Copper butterflies are small, only about 1″ with orange forewings and about 8 black dots and a black … Continue reading American Copper Butterfly At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
Gorgeous Orange Day Lilies on Cape Cod
The Daylilies here on Cape Cod are gorgeous this summer. They are growing everywhere and almost seem like a wildflower on the sides of the roads. I loved the coloring of this Daylily…so vibrant a deep orange color! What do you think?