"How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these."
~ George Washington Carver
I like starting off a blog with a good quote. Sometimes the quotes are a segue into what I'm writing about, but just as often they aren't. So if you're looking for a common thread weaving from Carver's words above, to mine that follow, there isn't one.
I was reading about damselflies because they were the focus of my photoshoot this morning, when a knock came at my window behind me. I turned and saw four birds. Two were brownish and small, maybe babies, and two were larger, with yellow and gray.
I grabbed my camera and snapped these two photos
through my window before they flew away.
This is closing in on the damselfly, but it's still hard to see.
Back to the damselfly. I've not had a more challenging subject to shoot than this damselfly! It was my first attempt today. I didn't even know what kind of insect they were until I looked them up. They are very hard to see except for the blue on the upper body and tip of their body. My macro lens has a very small focus area, and I have to get very close to get a decent shot, much less a good one. Below is so-so shot, but it taught me how to improve for my next try.
Getting close enough is one challenge. But that comes after first finding them and then tracking them. They don't land on vegetation very long and they spook easily. They have incredible eyesight and can even see colors beyond human capacity.
I would keep my eye on the flitter of color as best I could and watch the little guy fly from grass blade to grass blade. If he stopped, I would try to find him through my camera lens, which wasn't easy. Once I had him in my sights, I would move in closer crawling on my knees. The quieter, the better. But usually he was flying off before I got near enough and if he flew off while I was looking through my lens, I would almost always lose sight of him.
This is a photography outing that takes a lot of concentration, focus and patience - bucket loads of patience. It's not something to do if you're looking for a stress-free, easy shoot. But it's exciting in its own way and the challenge can be very rewarding.
With each new subject I choose to photograph, I always learn new things. I don't want to just capture an image of a damselfly. I want to capture its character - its essence. I also want to capture the "art form of the life form". That's the real challenge I ask of myself. I have a long way to go .... but the really cool thing is that I love the whole process.
I'm an artist, writer, photographer, private investigator and an activist in small ways.
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I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller
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