Lately I find myself taking a more artistic turn with my photography. I want to create photographs that look realistic and yet capture an artistic feel, not pushing the boundaries too far but moving in the direction of images that look more like paintings in some cases. In this latest photograph, I think there's an interesting blend of the realistic (the Monarch butterfly) combined with a watercolor look to the milkweed flower and background. Almost like a watercolor photograph.
I went hunting a couple days ago... butterfly hunting! I shot quite a few, but don't worry, no butterflies were actually harmed. :) This is a White Peacock Butterfly feeding on a milkweed flower as a touch of sunlight illuminates his wings. It's easy to see why I love to make pictures of these wonderful little creatures.
Sometimes I get on a roll with certain types of pictures. Earlier this year I posted a series from a trip to the Lowry Park Zoo here in Tampa. Some of the images, hopefully, looked like they were shot in the wild. I really enjoyed that series, and I think many of you did as well, judging by the feedback I received. So along that train of thought, here's another butterfly picture. I thought about posting a different shot today, for fear of repetition. But then I reconsidered. I believe it was the right decision.
According to my completely random and unofficial tests, if you Google "Tampa wildlife photographer," my blog is listed on Page 2 of the search results. Maybe those search results will vary for different users, but I still think that's really cool every time I try it myself! I hope to make the first page of the results someday. Here's another shot for those of you who love butterflies and pretty flowers.
I shot this at f/3.2 (what can I say, I love beautiful bokeh and thin depth of field). If I had it to do over, I probably would use f/4.0 to get a little more of the butterfly and flower in focus. But I think this shot works well anyway.
What are your thoughts?
This pretty butterfly drinks nectar from a sweet Sunflower. Beauty on beauty. I love making pictures of butterflies. There are more than 100 species in Florida. I'm trying to learn the more common ones and how to tell them apart. Does anyone know if this is a Monarch or a Viceroy? I believe it's one of those two but I'm not certain.
Here's a second shot of the lovely Sunflowers we recently had in our home. Let me take this opportunity to list a few reasons why beautiful fresh flowers make great models: -- They pose as long as you would like
-- There's no need to worry about hair or makeup
-- They work for free
-- Your girlfriend/wife will probably love them, so flowers double as a romantic gift as well!
Sunflowers are moving way up on my list of favorite flowers. Makes sense, too. After all, sunshine is the biggest reason my family and I left freezing cold Minnesota and came to the Sunshine State. So just the name Sunflower is a good indicator why I'm really starting to love them. Their golden petals are strong yet beautiful. And they really add warmth to any setting.
My wife and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on Tuesday May 15. I bought her Stargazer Lilies, her favorite flowers! Monique has been my best friend since we first met in 2006, and I couldn't be luckier to have her as my partner in life. She's so smart, beautiful, supportive... just an amazing woman and mother.
I made this shot today with window light.
There's beauty in everything. Photography reminds me of that every time I pick up my camera. Today I went outside in search of butterflies. I didn't find any and was disappointed. But I discovered something amazing in its own way. Too often we walk by things that appear ordinary. Take a closer look, and you might find grace and inspiration.
Click on the photo below to view at full size (recommended).
The Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, FL, is a great place to relax and shoot pictures. If you've never been there, I encourage you to visit the botanical gardens. Here are a few of my shots from my last visit there. What are some of your favorite places to shoot outdoors in the Tampa Bay area and Florida?