Tag Archives: nature photography

Better Than a Flying Toaster


tultr copyWhat a long way we’ve come from the days of flying toasters! Now instead of using a prefab screensaver or lock screen, it’s easy to create one of your own – one that has a special meaning for you.

My husband is a talented amateur photographer, specializing in nature photos. He didn’t have confidence in himself, however, dbl orng copyand I wanted to do something that would let him know how much I appreciate his talent and how much I love the results.

When he started taking photos I had assisted by cropping and color-correcting them. But after he stopped using his camera phone and got a small, peppers copyinexpensive, but fairly good quality digital camera, the most his photos needed was a tiny tweak or crop. There was nothing else I could do to the photos that would improve them.

Without telling him, I arranged a dozen or so of his photos into a photo by Dan Reilyslideshow with Ken Burns dissolves and used that as my screensaver. Then I invited him into my study and made conversation until the screensaver
kicked in. “Hey!” he said, “Those are my photos!” He was really touched that I had liked them enough to use them. Crocus copy

Later that year I selected a number of the photos and had them made into a calendar as a surprise for him and Christmas gifts for our friends and family. It was my way of showing how much I thought of his photography and how much I love him. I don’t think I will ever find a better screensaver, though I may add slides to it as he continues to snap his way through nature.

Photos by Dan Reily

It’s All Been Done

The other day my husband came to me, despondent about his photography. “I don’t know what I can shoot that hasn’t already been done by someone else.”

Over the past couple of years, Dan has become a pretty decent nature photographer. He’s developed his eye, learned about S-curves and the two-thirds rule, and considers background and foreground more. When he first started, I would tinker with the contrast and saturation and shadows, but now all I have to do is maybe crop them a little. Sometimes not even that.

Here are a few of his photos. ImageImageImage

I liked them so much that I made them into a slide show for my screen saver. He was surprised and touched.

Then I decided to share them with friends and family. I had 15 calendars manufactured featuring the photos and sent them out as holiday gifts. They were a hit. A stranger saw one at the packing/shipping store and asked if he could buy one.

Then Dan started angsting about having no worlds left to conquer and I had to give him a pep talk. It’s the same with writers, I told him. There are only six plots in the world (around that number, anyway) and literature continues to happen. I told him that yes, every flower has been photographed by someone, but not by him, with his own unique sensibility.

And I suggested that if he was tired of doing flowers, he could start capturing other things that interest him, like textures and patterns. I showed him a few examples of similar photos that a friend had taken and reminded him that an artist friend liked to experiment with patterns of light and shadow.

(I did all this instead of snapping at him that if he really wanted something to worry about, he should look at our bank balance.)

So here’s what he came up with.Image



and even this.



I think there are many more worlds for him to explore and conquer. If he can get past the Photo Performance Anxiety.