lindaberberich PRO
lindaberberich

Caterpillar1-54



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Spring 21 Award
2020 Choice Award
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Magnificent Capture
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Superb Composition
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Behind The Lens

Location
The photo was taken right in my own front yard. I'm a self taught photographer and very aware that I still have to SO much yet to learn. But Lucky me.. Mother Nature is providing the best classroom ever literally right outside my front door! I live in a very rural area with a forest forming the border on two sides of my one acre yard. All I have to do is step outside and there is this wonderful variety of birds, animals, insects and always changing plant life providing me with challenges and opportunities to learn something new.
Time
Photo was taken very late afternoon. Not quite 'golden hour' but close..
Lighting
The sun shining through the trees from such a low angle made for long deep shadows with little bright patches of sun breaking through the leaves. Creating what looked like little spotlights of bright rich color scattered in the shadows. As I was trying to decide how to best capture the scene, I spotted the little caterpillar munching away in one of those 'spotlighted' areas. It ended up being the best shot I took all afternoon.
Equipment
Shot with my Nikon D7200, using the 18-55 kit lens with Prisma macro and 0.43x High Def wide angle lenses attached. No tripod, just knelt on ground and used elbows on my knees to minimize camera shake.
Inspiration
I frequently go outside with my camera and just walk around looking for something that 'catches my eye'. But this particular day I wanted to try doing some macro shots using the little lens add-on I had recently gotten as a gift. I was a little discouraged at first, nothing was looking good to me.. colors just seemed blah. But then as usual when shooting later in the day, within just a few minutes, the light changed completely, and those bright spots appeared with the little caterpillar highlighted in one just a few feet away from me. I loved how the bright sunlight made it's bold colors just pop against the green background. Just the kind of shot I had hoped to get!
Editing
I actually did less post processing than usual for me on this one. In Photoshop camera raw I left white balance and colors alone, nudged the dehaze to about +8 and clarity/contrast to +5. I cropped image in a little closer and added a sharpen edges filter just to the caterpillar to make him pop from the background just a bit more..And that was it!
In my camera bag
Since I'm always looking for my next best inspiration, my Nikon d7200 goes with me everywhere I go, Usually with the AF NIKKOR 24-85mm 1:2.8-4D already attached. Love that lens, its my go to for its versatility and nice sharp images even in really low light. Other than the macro lens I mentioned above, my other lenses are the ones that came in a package with my camera. The basic 18-55mm I use very rarely. All of my bird and sports action photos are taken with a AF NIKKOR 70-300mm 1:4-5.6G. I'm building my dream kit as my budget allows, and my next purchase will be a good prime lens. Because I have a pretty wide range of subjects I love to shoot, at the moment my dream lens would be an AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR. The broad focal length range would reduce the number of lenses I would need to carry into the field without reducing my handheld shooting capabilities.
Feedback
When shooting nature or wildlife photography, I've learned that patience is definitely a virtue! You really have to slow down and take the time to look carefully everywhere around you, especially if you are looking for macro subjects. The opportunities for amazing photos are all around us if we take the time to look. Keep in mind though, that frequently the opportunity for that amazing shot can disappear in a flash, so it pays to be ready for it when you see it. That leads me to passing on what was the best piece of advice I ever received.. get to KNOW your camera! Knowing what every button and dial can do lets you set your camera up to be perfect for your needs. Once set up, go out and shoot every day if possible. If you practice, practice, practice until you know it so well that it's second nature, you'll never miss another shot because you were looking down, fumbling with dialing in a setting.

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