Saturday, April 18, 2009

How I Select Images To Post - Part 2

As someone that gets out often and takes 100's, if not 1000's, of images, I have a lot of things to work with when it comes time to post/share something.

When I first started shooting and posting, every effort resulted in at least something posted. I don't do that anymore.

I'm trying to build a collection of great images. Not every spotting or story results in 'good' images. When that happens I chalk the day up to part of the 'work', and hope to get some 'good' stuff on my next photo adventure.

Today was probably borderline, nothing great. I saw a couple bald eagles, a handful of ospreys, and some herons, a marsh wren, a chickadee, a pair of cardinals, etc, etc... I might still post something from today, but nothing jumped out at me when I did my initial review.

Forcing the issue, and insisting on posting/sharing photos from a so so day, will weaken (my/your) ones work as a whole.

I made it to the DC Zoo last night to take some images of the (wild/non-captive) Black-Crowned Night Herons. I've been shooting them for a couple/few years now there, and got some new looks, new light, and shared this one already:
Black-Crowned Night Heron

The above is actually from a week ago, but that's what I went to see... And while there I got lucky and spotted one of the resident Red-Shouldered Hawks! (below IS from last night!)

Red-Shouldered Hawk

I've been keeping my eye out for these guys for a while now and finally spotted one of them perched, wet, preening themselves for around 20 or 30 minutes - it has been months since I saw them and got a post-worthy shot.

I guess the point of this post is that you have to put a bunch of time and effort in to getting wildlife photos. And you shouldn't force the issue and post images from EVERY outing.

The things I look for in an encounter/image that sets it apart are: subject/behavior, light and color, uniqueness of the animal, and if I have or have not already seen/posted a similar image.

I'm probably going to wind up posting one of this wren, a bird that could fit in my shirt pocket, even though I saw and photographed Eagles, Herons, Osprey, etc... All mightier birds. The wren shots were just more unique to my collection and turned out better.

(preview of wren)

(updated) As a way to show that I just didn't miss out on other stuff to shoot or post, here's a few other things, story lines, that I probably won't post outright on their own...

There was a very nice woman with her nearly grown up dog, and I asked if I could take an his photo and she allowed me to. Without much to go on, I got this ok image, but...

And then there was the man I struck up a conversation with. He'd just arrived, and had found a dead Barred Owl on his way in. It was struck by a car, and probably didn't stand a chance. Predators like that focus on their prey and when a car or truck gets in the way, they face tough odds. Most rehab work for raptors is done with animals struck by vehicles...

Ok, well maybe I did pull out a couple other stories from those photos, but they wouldn't work as fine art images. The above were more like reporting/lifestyle...




rodbot said...

I am guilty of that too, posting at least one shot from every time I go out.

I just culled some photos from my flickr account, a couple of days ago.

Joe (vidular) said...

Being more selective on what I post is definitely something I need to work on. However when I do many very short shoots (e.g., backyard birds) I can more easily discard the entire shoot if it is not good or I can expect the light to be better the next day.

I find it interesting, and inspirational, how you use the term "story" in describing what you want to achieve. That sounds very good, an interesting subject well captured. A photo that speaks for itself is indeed a worthy goal.