Get Outside and Shoot


Today is the official start of my 30 day photo project. I have to admit, I wasn't sure how this was going to go, or if I was even going to be able to start. I worried about how many days I'm going to do before I failed, how do I even start this thing, and what I'm even going to photograph. At that point I realized I had to stop, take a deep breath, grab my camera, and go outside. And that was it, that broke the barrier. I went across the street to the nature preserve hoping to get at least a few good shots. With all the rain we've been getting here in South Florida I was sure there would be some interesting subjects to capture and I was right! I also took this opportunity to do a bit of vlogging about my experience and my project for the YouTube channel. If you have about ten minutes, give it a watch.

Something I talk a little bit about in the video is being aware of your surroundings. That's one of the most important tips I can give to any new photographer. View the area around you and think about what it would look like if you squatted down or pointed your camera strait up. I'm constantly thinking about my perspectives and how I can change them; that's how I came up with today's photo below.

South Florida Salvia by James Gass on 500px.com
As I was crossing a small foot bridge, I saw the salvia plant just below me. I could have easily pointed my camera down at it and took the shot, but how interesting would that be? Not very. So, to change my perspective I squatted down to its level and that's when I saw the bumble bee hovering around it. Now my photo was getting even more interesting. I waited a while until the bee was in a good spot within the frame and took the shot. Much better. Something else I did was zoomed my lens all the way out to 55mm. I'm working with the 18-55mm kit lens which, to be honest, isn't very good at all but if you know its limitations, you can learn to work around them. At 55mm, the widest aperture I can get is f5.6 however, if I'm zoomed all the out, set f-stop to 5.6 and physically move closer to the subject, I'll get some nice bokeh, or background blur.

Think about these few tips the next time you're out shooting and see what kind of results you can come up with. Remember, if you'd like to join me on my 30 day photo challenge, use #JHAC30 on Instagram.

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