Meteor Shower at Chattooga Belle Farm

I was talking to Keri the other day about a photo contest I submitted to recently.  It wasn't so much about the contest, but about looking through my catalog from 2012 for photos to submit.  I realized that the downside to a good business year can sometimes mean the lack of personal projects.  I ended up finding something to submit, but it was a slap in the face to realize I had done very little shooting for myself this year.  This is why I was ecstatic when I spoke to Marc Del Santro about photographing the recent meteor shower.  It was about as last minute as can be when at 2pm he said "I'm heading to South Carolina in about 9 hours to shoot from midnight until dawn."  To which I replied "yes, Marc- I will invite myself along."   It was exactly that- finish up a shoot at 6pm, go to band practice until 10pm, then head to SC for shooting until dawn.  Marc also brought along the incredible Nadia D.  I can't tell you how much fun I had- not only for the photography and friendship, but for the fact that it was photography for myself.  Plus the meteor shower was pretty insane.

Light painting and general goofery provided by Marc Del Santro and Nadia D.

BEES! Killer Bees!!!

No, not really.  They're just regular bees... but they may have mean dispositions.

I'll be the first to say my nature photography is lacking.  I'm so used to taking photos of people and architecture that when I find myself in nature, I have a tough time choosing a clear subject.  I personally find it incredibly difficult to be in a beautiful natural location and take a photograph that encompasses what I see with my eyes.  It's not only in the location and the subject, but in the composition.  Framing elements, leading lines, strong subject- these are all important components to a great nature photo.  These are things I'm learning with nature photography.  One of the best things about shooting on occasion for The Nature Conservancy is meeting some of their fun and interesting people out in the field- one of them being Marc DelSantro.  He's an incredible nature and wildlife photographer.  He and I had been talking for a while about getting out and shooting sometime and when he saw one of my recent blog posts, he gave me a ring to head out to Heggie's Rock for some photography.

Unfortunately for us, our timing was a bit off and we missed most of the confederate daisies blooming.  On top of that, our schedules only allowed us to be out there after sunrise and before sunset- some of the best lighting to shoot.  However, we were able to capture about 30 minutes of foggy photos on a nearby marsh before heading to the rock.  Watching Marc work and seeing how he has mastered the aforementioned compositional  elements was very inspiring.  While I walked around and shot all sorts of different subjects in hopes of getting a couple of good ones, Marc surveyed the scene and would spend his time on only a few shots.  He could look around and see it.  Setting up his tripod, waiting for the wind to calm, or watching the fog to thicken or thin with the sunlight- he knew exactly what he wanted before even turning the camera on.  I still have a ways to go.  Here are a few from the marsh.


Marc in his natural habitat.


And then, like a light switch the sun came out.  No joke- it took all of 120 seconds.


From the marsh, we went on to Heggie's Rock.  Rather than explain much about its flora and/or fauna, I'll just let you click HERE and check it out.  As I mentioned before, we had a beautiful day but we were only on the rock for the harshest sunlight.  While I know Marc must have captured some great shots, I spent a lot of my time on these bees.  Again, kind of a cop out of mine to have a simple subject, but hey- it works sometimes.  :)  I hope to get out there again in the spring when the flowers and colors abound.  Meanwhile I'll keep you all posted on any other shoots with Marc!