One of the many great things about having a garden is all the photo ops available through out the day. Birds come by to check out what's in in the feeder, bees zoom around looking for pollen and nectar, and the bugs are crawling around doing whatever they do. All are good opportunities for sharpening ones nature photography skills.
Getting a decent close-up shot is easy in a studio under controlled lighting, no wind, and a sturdy tripod. When we are out "in the field", shifting light and sudden breezes are always there to mess up a perfectly composed shot. The goal is to train yourself to work fast... compose quickly (shot now, crop later), be familiar with the camera (no time to search for a feature), and work with a versatile lens (no time to change lenses).
We have been using the Nikon d90/Nikkor 18-200VR combo for the past three months for all of our shots. The pair have been proven themselves to be a nice "grab and go" piece of gear. Even a the edge of it zoom range, the lens is sharp enough for most applications, color rendition is true, and you absolutely cannot beat the versatility of the D90's 11 point autofocus, movie mode, and amazingly great battery life.
There are still quite a bit about the camera we have not yet explored. What we have seen have been very impressive. If you have been trying to decide whether to get a digital SLR to replace that pocket point-n-shoot, we can definitely recommend the D90/18-200mm VR combo. If you are unsure, you can test the DSLR waters by going with the Nikon D40. Want more background info on either one? Go check out the RainyDayPhotography section for our entire series regarding the Nikon D40 and D90.
One fun thing we like to make ourselves to do is to "find" different visual textures, grouping of similar colors, or compositions with a lot of high frequencies. Besides being an enjoyable exercise, we find the photos can also be great as computer desktop backgrounds and screen savers.
Readers are free to download any of these pics (just click on them for a larger version) for use as backgrounds for their own computer desktop. We, of course, reserve all rights to them regarding any commercial and/or for profit use. If you do want the huge original files, drop us a line. We can work something out :-) [Permalink] - RainyDayDesktop pics