I celebrated my birthday a couple weeks ago, and as birthdays are prone to do, it got me to thinking back on my life and career. I see now that photography is and always has been a way of life for me. It has been my career for many years, maybe more than I want to count. And I love it. I loved my years as a photojournalist for the newspaper and I’m loving my career now – the independence of having my own photography business, shooting corporate events, weddings and other important life events.
But what some may not know is that my real passion lies in nature photography. Being in and around nature and photographing/being part of it is a stress release for me. Birds, waves, storms, these are all things that make an impact but not verbally, just through your senses. And to capture those moments – there’s nothing like it.
In my off time I like to go to Crystal River where I keep a small boat. It’s really small, which is how I like it because it allows me access to places not everyone can go. Like I do in most of my work, I like to focus and compose from the back to the front. I look at what’s behind the subject and that’s how I get my shot.
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That’s what I did here in this shot I call The Red Leaf.
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I also like to capture the cypress roots from underneath the water. I get on my snorkel gear and get down into the water to get shots using my GoPro 3 camera. It’s such a different perspective; it’s like being on the moon.
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The thing about shooting nature is that you can’t pose it. With animals and nature you have to wait and wait, and then wait some more. There is a difference between animals in the wild and animals in a park when photographing. In a park setting, all the basics are the same, lighting, patience, background, focus etc., but it is all more controlled. You still have to wait for the right photo moment.
In the wild, you don’t have enclosures and parameters. Animals are free to roam, sleep hidden in the bush or choose to move about at night. More patience is required and a sense of “thinking ahead” for the photo is required as it could be anywhere.
So reflecting on the past and these years I’ve spent being lucky enough to do something I love, the nature photography really stands out. I think it’s unique that my passion is something that I’m able to do in everyday life. I hope everyone can be so lucky.
In my next blog post, look out for some of the nature work I get to do professionally. And, if you’d like to see more of my nature photography or want to know of some great local spots for shooting on your own, contact me at: Bill@BillSernePhotography.com.