I am a firm believer in the idea that one’s best photographs are made in places close to home rather than exotic and picturesque locals. I think is particularly the case for nature photography. It is simply a combination of more time to truly explore the photographic potential of your area, as well as a more intimate knowledge and understanding your personal landscape. I’ll take this one step further and say that the best place to practice photography is your backyard. Is there any other stretch of nature you know so well?
I’ve been thinking about this topic again because as a result of my recent move, my new backyard offers significant opportunities for photographic exploration. With a large partially wooded lot and lake frontage, I could probably wear out my K10D without going more than 2 minutes walk from the front door. For example, the image below was made at the lakes’ edge, late in the afternoon with ice just beginning to form along the shore. I used a Cokin Blue & Yellow polarizer to emphasize the blue and gold highlights of the reflections on the water and the rocks. I think the overall effect is nice, but I’m not really happy with the harsher blue & yellow highlights. This is a problem I’ve noticed when using the Blue & Yellow on a digital camera; it tends to make for some gaudy looking highlights. I’ve tried Darwin Wiggett’s suggestion to adjust white balance in the RAW conversion to compensate, but they don’t seem to work for me (possibly due to the fact he’s using the Singh-Ray filter not the cheapo Cokin version I have). Any one have any ideas?