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No Apologies Required

Text and photography copyright Jim Erhardt. All rights reserved.

Note - Thumbnails are links to full size images.

It seems that no matter which outdoor photography magazine you pick up or nature photography website you visit, it’s easy to get the impression that nature photography is only for those with plenty of time, money and expertise. We all marvel at the extraordinary images, but at the same time become overwhelmed with the array of expensive equipment, advanced technique and exotic subjects depicted in these images. What starts out as excitement and inspiration so often turns into quiet resignation knowing that all of it is beyond your reach.

It’s an easy trap to fall into, and something that you do not need to apologize for if you suddenly find yourself in it. Nature photography is big business, and all of the marketing hype has done a good job of obscuring one simple, irrefutable fact – nature photography is what you want to make it!

Over the last few years, I have come to enjoy nature photography on a far less grand scale. I have come to realize that “nature” can be found as easily in my backyard as it can be found in the wilds of Alaska. I have also found that by choosing the right kind of subject, impressive results can be achieved with relatively modest gear. At the same time, creating interesting images of these everyday subjects is in many ways a greater challenge than creating interesting images of more exotic subjects.

With the summer months of 2004 now approaching in the northern hemisphere, I thought I would share some of my images taken last summer. All of these images have a few points in common;

  • They were all taken with a modest array of gear and accessories (see below)
  • They were all taken with easy-to-learn, uncomplicated technique
  • They are all of common, everyday subjects
  • They were all taken in my own yard
  • They are all some of the most satisfying I have ever produced

The gear used for each of these images includes a Canon G3, Canon 250D close-up lens, a Bogen 3001 tripod with a Kirk BH-3 ball head, one 12-inch Photoflex white-translucent Litedisc, one 12-inch Photoflex silver/gold Litedisc and a pair of Wimberley Plamps.

All images were taken using manual focusing and aperture priority auto-exposure mode. The Photoflex Litediscs and Wimberley Plamps were used to achieve optimal lighting effect. All images are shown full frame.

Nature photography offers its own rewards. It makes no mandate on how or where it should be undertaken, and makes no judgment on the gear used. Nature photography is what you want to make of it, on whatever terms you wish to pursue it.

And no apologies are ever required.

JE-NPN 0001

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