I enjoy photography, but I have no interest in becoming a professional photographer. As I have written before, photography is for me more of a way of seeing and recording the world around me rather than expressing myself artistically or honing my photographic skills. However, emphasizing the process over the product means that after I take my photos, most of them end up sitting largely forgotten on a memory card or on my computer.
So I was happy to discover the Spotted Photo Theme challenge from iHanna, one of my favourite creative bloggers. The idea is simple: each month, go through your photos and look for themes, subjects you return to again and again. You can use iHanna’s suggestions for themes or choose your own. I love this challenge because this way I get to revisit my favourite photos rather than letting them stay neglected.
The theme for August is animals. I love photographing animals, but they can be a challenge, because – unlike plants – animals can move, and wild animals may not allow a photographer to approach as closely as she might like.
Especially when it comes to birds, I may take dozens of photos just to get a single good one. Often the bird flies away before I even manage that much. But occasionally I am surprised with a photo that turns out better than I expected, a photo that manages to “see” the bird better than I did with my eyes.
Insects and spiders are among my favourite animal subjects. They’re small, and usually allow me to get up close to take detailed photos. (Butterflies are by far my favourite insects to photograph, but they’ll be appearing in an upcoming photo theme.)
While insects, birds, and mammals are the animals I photograph most often, there are of course many other kinds of animals out there, and some of them also appear in my photos. I always try to photograph anything new and different that crosses my path.
Two years ago, we traveled to the west coast and the wild shores of the Pacific Ocean. Scrambling amongst rocks and tidepools, I discovered a whole host of creatures I knew little about, from anemones to sea stars to limpets to barnacles. I couldn’t take enough photos. With every step I was discovering something new and fascinating. In the animal kingdom, there is always more to discover and, of course, to photograph.