How to take Photographs (1- The Why)

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ No seriously πŸ˜€

Photographers don’t read this. I am not a photographer and I don’t know the first thing about photography and yet some people like my pictures. How so?

I cheat and play tricks and I mess about a lot and by the law of averages, sometimes I get lucky.

Please keep in mind that I have never claimed to be anything that I am not.

(Big game hunter,Pirate, Jungle explorer…. oh I could go on…) Shut up Fizz!

I have never claimed to be a photographer or tried to sell you anything and all of the pictures that I post on this blog are free for you to download (just click on a picture to open it, right click and select “save as”) and use in any way that you like.

Starting with the basics: Why do I take photographs? It is so that I can learn about things. I need to identify a subject, that is the first step. Once I know it’s name then I can read about it.

I take a lot of pictures and try to get my subject from every angle because if I don’t know what it is then I don’t know what particular feature is going to prove the ID.

Common DarterI learnt this a long time ago. This one is a Common Darter and in this case it is the yellow stripe on the outside of it’s legs that proves that. I never know what feature it is going to be and I can’t remember everything without a picture (lots of pictures from different angles)

This next picture is a tachinid fly calledΒ Pelatachina tibialis and it is the reddish hue on the hind tibia that identifies it. How could anyone remember that sort of detail without a picture?

Pelatachina tibialisIt is pure coincidence if some of my pictures also turn out to be quite pretty. I go out looking for knowledge and trying to find something that I haven’t seen before and don’t recognise.

Often I can’t find anything new and exciting and so I pass the time taking pictures of things that I am very, very familiar with.

I take pictures just because something is so beautiful and I am in awe of it. I can’t understand why it is so beautiful. Not just for me, surely not? So I like to share things.

RabbitsThese turned out to be Rabbits (and it was the ears this time πŸ™‚ )

I am writing this post because a good friend of mine in Oz has bought himself a new camera and he wants to take photographs like fodrambler. He already can, some of his pictures are really good and I would have loved to have taken them. I thought that the easiest way to show him what I do would be via a few posts.

I Β can’t put everything into one post or it will be five miles long so I am going to do this as a series of posts. It is raining heavily outside so I am not going to get any great pictures today. I will of course take Fizz out but it will be all for her, no cameras today.

FizzSo I am nearly finished with this first post. Please don’t post comments about what a great photographer I am because when I show you how easy it was to trick you into thinking that….. Well, it will just be embarrassing for all of us and I am going to show you.

Photographers probably already know what I am up to but this is for the rest of us. It is going to be a “How to cheat” guide.

Next…. let the cheating begin.

This was one of the first pictures that I ever took and I did find out what it is….

Southern HawkerIt is beautiful.

But why is it beautiful?

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40 thoughts on “How to take Photographs (1- The Why)”

  1. You take photographs for much the same reasons that I do. I get many more iffy ones than keepers but often the dodgy ones are useful in aiding an identification to family or species. Occasionally I inadvertently take one that has artistic merit.

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  2. Of course you are a photographer!! Maybe not a proffessional one, if you say so, but a photographer you are! πŸ™‚ I liked that bunny picture the best! πŸ™‚ and oh, today I wrote two nursery rhymes about Fizz, at least inspired by her. I am going to publish them on my Granny’s Garden Children’s blog πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Trini πŸ™‚ I hadn’t realised that you had a Granny’s Garden blog. That is lovely. I would like to do a children’s blog but it is always time that is the problem. I will look out for inspired by Fizz rhymes.

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      1. I just started it three days ago πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ So it is very new! πŸ™‚ I can send you the link if you want when i post the rhymes about Fizz πŸ™‚ I thought about the time-aspect as well when I started this blog, but I have planned to make the Granny’s Garden more like a website with collections of stories and poems than a blog πŸ™‚

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    2. Thanks Trini πŸ™‚ I had already found the blog and you have a follower. I had planned to recite these rhymes to Fizz on our walk today but… If I walk down the lane singing, “Stay, Fetch, Jump, Stretch…” she is going to give me a funny look and say, “You do know that I am a celebrity?” πŸ™‚

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  3. There is a difference between a photographer who is a technician and knows all about the camera and lenses etc and a photographer who has a love for the subject and wishes to remember the object he saw and wishes to share his love with others. Your insect photos are so good!

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  4. Your photos show moving wings on insects and bring us all into your world as you see it. If that’s not a photographer, then ok, you’re not. πŸ™‚ You love what’s out there in nature, and share that love with others. And your readers appreciate that!

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  5. The bunnies in the moss is a photo I just may have to “borrow.” How wonderful. Now, dear fodrambler, will you be telling us what kind of camera you use? I’m still using my phone and am seriously considering investing in a camera. Thanks a bunch.

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    1. Thank you Barbara πŸ™‚ I use a Panasonic FZ200 that costs about Β£300 nowadays. That is probably a bit less than a new phone. My phone is a Tesco Cheapy that cost me Β£10 and takes phone calls. Mobile phone cameras have improved so much recently. I follow a few blogs that only use phones for their pictures and I just couldn’t tell. One foodie blog that I really follow just for the quality of her photographs recently blogged that they were all taken with her phone. I was amazed.

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  6. I am one of those people who love your photos. ❀ I completely agree with what you say. Why wouldn't anyone not want to share? Isn't that what blogs are all about?

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  7. Yes, SOME people like your FABULOUS pictures. LOL Really? You’re NOT a pirate. Okay, I have to rethink this whole thing then, give me a minute. Fine, I don’t care whether or not you’re a pirate because the picture of the bunnies is so fantastic that I just don’t care about the whole pirate thing. It would be nice to have a parrot, however, and since ALL pirates have them, if you decide to become a pirate, you would have to investigate that part for sure. Back to the bunnies. I LOVE that picture, it’s so beautiful. Thank you. Your other photographs are beautiful as well, but I have no desire to pet the fly. I’m sorry but really, they don’t stand still long enough and I don’t think it would be good for their wings, but bunnies, they love pets:) Beautiful rabbits. I love your passion for learning. Yay!

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    1. Thank you Gigi πŸ™‚ Well, when I was a youngster, about eighteen, I worked on the ferry boats out of Dover and I had my Seaman’s card. That is almost like being a Pirate. I just jazzed it up a bit.

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  8. I’m not a photographer either. I just like taking pictures of the world around me. And with the help of PaintShop Pro X6, I can cheat too! It’s fun. It’s rewarding. It’s entertaining. It’s educational. The list goes on. Happy Trails!

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  9. I like taking lots of pictures of things that I am sculpting because you can only get so much information from the side view and the front view. I try to get the top and bottom and behind and kinda sideways and a little bit twisted shots so that I can get as much information from a two dimensional picture in order to make a three-dimensional sculpture…whew. that was a lot of words, sorry.

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  10. I have borrowed the photograph of the beautiful bunnies. The insects are great photos also. The bunnies, incidentally, will serve as a change of scene on my PC background sometimes.
    Whether or not you are a photographer is beside the point. We follow you, your camera and dear Fizz on trips into your beautiful UK forests to enjoy the beauty you share with us, and I thank you.

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    1. Thank you Ettel πŸ™‚ You are most welcome to the bunnies. I make myself screen savers. I just take a bunch of favourite pictures and put them in a folder and set that as my screen saver. I suppose that I could make Fizz screen savers πŸ™‚ Now that is an idea.

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      1. OH, I would love a Fizz screen saver! I already have a photo of you with Fizz in my computer. It rather looks like your new Gravatar. Maybe some day when she is dry.
        I have zillions of favorite photos Colin,

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    2. Fizz will never be dry πŸ™‚ Oh, well, if it stopped raining in England, long enough for the puddles to dry out and if the grass was always short so that there was no dew…. No, Fizz is too little to be dry.

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  11. Everyone who makes photos is a photographer, Colin. I learned that long ago. But taking taking clearly focused well composed photos that show the details of nature makes you a good photographer (in my book).

    The words and story that you share in your posts add to the interest. We all love a good story and ability to share your journey (or walk in this case). Having charming and intimate photos of Fizz makes it even more entertaining. Perhaps in the way that some of us would like a pet or companion for our own walks (but can’t have one as I do living in an inner city flat/apartment that doesn’t allow pets).

    I can assure you it’s very hard to take photos of insects showing all the details clearly too. Personally, possibly due to my eyesight and the inner city location, I rarely see insects and then when I do, I have to take dozens and dozens of shots to get one in reasonable focus and like you say, sometimes, its just pure luck when we capture a great shot.

    Either way, we all enjoy your blog. We are all nature lovers and like having species clearly identified too. I don’t have the patience or physical ability to get down as low as you do. I need the exercise and the fresh air and if I see something I want to capture in a photo and share online, then that makes my walking exercise all the more enjoyable.

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    1. Thank you Vicki πŸ™‚ I live in rented accommodation too. When I came looking for a place to live I would have loved to find one that allowed animals but they are so rare. I am lucky that Fizz lives just downstairs and that I can share her.

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  12. I take a lot of photos for id and to save the memory of finding it. I love to take a photo of a say a dragonfly and then go and find out more about it. Your transverse flower fly at the top is amazing..Michelle

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  13. Thank you Michelle πŸ™‚ My transverse flower fly is a male Marmalade Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus. The thing that I found amazing was that the animal could hold it’s position in mid air, without any movement at all while I took his photograph. Glad that you liked it πŸ™‚

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