tree-hugger, nature-lover

Now that you are all dreaming of frolicking through gorgeous fall scenes in your snappy new dresses from The Berkshires, Shawni Pothier tells us how to best capture nature on film, as well as in fashion.

As I mentioned in my first post, I was raised by nature lovers.

My parents raised me to adore the beauty of the world. The pointed it out everywhere we went: The various colors that made up a gorgeous sunset. The spring buds making their grand debut on the barren tree branches. The way a field of grain looked when the sun was slanted just so. Maybe that's why I always feel so compelled to take close-up photos of nature everywhere I go.

My family rolls their eyes at me as I lag behind with my camera, but when my daughter got back from science camp last year armed with a whole slew of nature close-ups on her camera fashioned after the ones I take, my heart jumped. She's getting it. She loves nature, too.

And then my son called me from his friend's house to tell me to look at the sunset one evening last spring. Yes, I think it's soaking in... little by little.

I want to give you a challenge here and now. Get out and notice the details of nature. Whether it's the way the leaves look with the sun shining through them, or how a sunset reflects on a puddle of water. Try not to only capture it in your mind, but also in your camera. It will make you appreciate nature more than ever before.

How, you may ask, can I capture nature best on my camera? Well, most point-and-shoot cameras have a "macro" setting. That's what I use on trips when I don't have my big camera along. Just find that setting and get the camera right up about an inch away from what you want to photograph and shoot away. I'm telling you, there is amazing capacity in one of those little digital cameras.

If you want to try to capture nature with an SLR camera, my suggestion would be to put the camera on "aperture priority" mode at one of the largest aperture settings (the smaller the number the larger the aperture. I know. Confusing). This will get what's in the forefront most focused and blur out the rest.

When I get home from trips where I've taken a lot of nature shots, I like to put together collages of my favorite shots. And then, voila!, I have a momento of all the gorgeous nature we saw on that particular trip.

In short, I love capturing nature.


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