Wilderness safari photo school

This is probably a bit of a “duh” statement, but you guys DO NOT GET IN A CAR ACCIDENT, IT IS THE WORST. It’s going on two and a half weeks since mine and I’m still a shattered column of intense pain. Forget about looking to the side, forget about sitting with anything other than a perfectly straight back, it is all bad. I had no idea that so much damage could be done without any skin being broken, but here we are.

But that’s misery business, isn’t it? This is actually a happy blog! I’ve been meaning to pick up my camera more often and, you know, actually get good at using it but lately there’s always been something more important to do instead. Dumb, right? So on Friday, I doped myself up with prednisone, snuck out of the house without telling anyone where I was going and went off into the wilderness to become a good photographer by hook or by crook.

I made a friend along the way.

Oh yeah, this is my idea of rebellion. Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behaviour!

Critiquing myself as a model: I do weird things with my hands. I don’t know why. It’s a problem. This picture was dubbed “INVISIBLE MARTINI!” by my friend Emily. I like to think there’s an invisible fur coat in the picture as well. It just makes sense.

Okay, so I’m taking pictures of plants and animals (I’m way more interested in those things than people, just in general) and they’re fine, but nothing really special. Like this? It’s a flower. It’s okay. Not great.

Even this blue dude. Neat, yes, but not really good. Not really special. That’s been something I’ve never been able to really overcome with my photos, and it’s bothered me but I didn’t know how to fix it. How do you fix average?

But then…something started to happen.

I don’t know what it was.

But things started to get a lot BETTER.

I think I can attribute about 50% of my sudden improvement to a trick I made up/figured out with the manual focus. The other 50% I’m chalking up to the fact that I slipped into a mindset that I usually only get in when I’m doing yoga or running. I felt very patient and connected to everything, like nothing was bigger than I was or too small to escape my notice. Kind of a zen thing, I guess. More and more I’m realising that mindset helps with everything, not just stuff that’s physically demanding.

The fact that the steroid I’m taking for my injuries has “euphoria” as a legit side-effect may have something to do with it, also.

Holy shit. I didn’t even realise I got this picture until I was back home, sweaty as hell and aching all over. BEE IN FLIGHT! I may as well have caught a bullet with my teeth! Ugh, I really shouldn’t make that joke.

I thinking of all these pictures as portraits, even though they’re of plants. Then I saw this little guy and was like, okay, legit portrait practice time. I know that maybe caterpillars aren’t traditional portrait material, but you work with what you have. I think he’s adorable.

This spider was so impossibly delicate and graceful. All I could think as I went home was I am so lucky to have seen all of this.

I really, really paid for the hour and a half I spent with the minibeasts, though. I could hardly move all weekend and my mood was correspondingly terrible. I’m not good at being anything other than perfectly fine, which is a shitty thing to admit, but it’s true. I suck as a patient, and I suck at BEING patient. I think I can fix both of those things, though. Or I hope I can.

Fingers crossed for a better week. What do you fabulously talented people know about being an awesome photographer? Any tips or tricks or shortcuts? Leave me a comment and let me know!

8 thoughts on “Wilderness safari photo school

  1. Yes, invisible fur coat definitely adds to that pic of you. And then I can’t help but think of Auntie Mame, because she was also a bad ass chick.

    Your photos look amazing and any side-effect described as euphoric sounds quite good to me!

    Sorry the healing is slow going 😦 I hope you continue to heal, only faster!

    BTdubs… Love your sunglasses. Care to share what they are?? I’m on the hunt!

    1. Thanks for the happy wishes Chelsea, I hope I get better faster as well. You’re sweet.

      The glasses are Ralph Lauren and are tinted extra dark to protect my delicate eyeballz. I love them.

  2. One thing you did, Alle, was simply to get closer. Either you did it with the zoom on your camera or you just physically got closer, but you simplified your compositions and eliminated a lot of “dead” area in the frame. It also looks like you started to take pictures from some place other than standing straight up (I notice that with the photos of the grasses).

    Robert Capa famously said, “If your photos aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”

  3. First of all, your manicure is fantastic. Love the sparkles!

    Second: I just do my best to stick to the rule of thirds. Aim to divide whatever’s in your shutter frame by thirds. You’re doing this intuitively, which is great–shows you have a good eye! I’ve never tried nature shots so I’m of no help there. Whenever I’m shooting something else, though, I just try to remember to get what I really see–the part that truly intrigues me, I guess. Which is exactly what you’re doing already, so brava!

    1. Thanks boo! I found myself getting really distracted by the glitter throughout the week. And truth be told, I only put it on there because there were (GASP!) bubbles in the neon varnish! Oh the horror!
      Also, thanks for the tips. It’s nice to be told that I’m doing things okay so far, I’m hoping I only improve.
      Your advice really warmed my heart, also, because it reminded me so much of what my beloved art teacher in high school would say: “Draw what you see, not what you think you see.” Thanks for repeating that important lesson and also reminding me of someone I loved very much. ❤


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