Nature's Place

Whether the Weather …

… is good for finding ‘bugs’ to photograph?

It has been cloudy with occasional rain and the odd ray of sunshine, so it’s a natural question.

My experience is as long as it’s not actually raining there is usually something to shoot, 99 times out of 100. I’m sure there would be something to shoot in the rain, or sheltering from it, but I don’t have a waterproof camera.

Shooting refers to a time in our culture when hunting to kill was the preferred way to get close to exotic nature. Probably because all the skills of the hunter are employed in the capture of a ‘good’ image, the need to kill has been civilized. Though a willingness to put yourself in some danger at times, sensibly so, will get the shot others won’t.

The first thing a hunter does in order to spot the prey/subject is be still, inside and out. If he’s not quiet of mind he’s not present to see or otherwise sense the minutia that often represents the presence of prey/subject. And if he’s not quiet and fluid in his body and environment most creatures will take offense and run or hide.

For a hunter/photographer to master the hunt of exotic creatures he must become one with the nature. In appearance, sound, movement, any other sense, and above all attitude.

The ultimate hunter is invisible to the prey/subject. From that the greatest capture rate will flow.

The attitude is ‘I am transparent’, I am nothing!

That’s the strategy, and then there are the tactics, the ‘how to’, which are best shown.

*

Another take on it …

Nature is always changing. Nothing stays the same for long. Everything in it is active according to the local conditions.

Beneath the appearance of things there is one life, one psyche, which everything is a form of, and in. Being so every form has a connection to every other form, at some unconscious lever of being.

That means you and I have a connection to everything around us. We are the most impressive form in any natural landscape. Impressive of our condition of mind. We impose our will, be it conscious or not, on our nature. And our nature is impressed by this, for good or ill.

I am not suggesting bugs can be willed to appear, just that there is normally an effect of one being present in nature that can be minimised for the purpose of capturing an image of one of nature’s unusual and often beautiful creatures, and of doing so more creatively.

So, how we are inside makes a difference to the nature around us, because we are connected. That doesn’t mean we have to be absolutely still of mind for anything to appear, obviously. It just means we have to do our best and not impose our mind on the nature around us – the sense of it – by leaving our thoughtful and emotional worldly concerns behind.

Intent matters.

This can’t be proven except in your own experience. It’s the sort of thing, once you know it, unfolds as your experience if you are observant of facts and not given to doubt it. And if you go along with it will result in peace of mind, relatively speaking.

This is the essence of right meditation, no belief, no imagination, no thought or emotion. Just a plain and simple practical exercise of the will to engender a quieter, more relaxed way of being.

*

The weather has been unusually cloudy with occasional showers and the odd ray of sunshine for a while now. This being so I was asked if there will be any creatures to photograph on a Macro Meditation Day.

This is my answer, which is also touched on in Macro Illustrated, what is true in my experience. :

There are no guarantees nature will show up in the forms that please the most, or are wanted, and everything has its time. It’s the not knowing that gives rise to the sense of wonder and discovery at the infinite variety of form and colour at our feet, as it presents. The chances of something showing up are increased by our respect for and acknowledgment of the simple wonder and beauty of the nature that does show up – in the little things.

And a little gratitude, to nothing in particular – spoken or not, for the nature that does show up is the best way I know of ensuring it shows up next time – in some form.

The pictures on this page are from the last five or so cloudy days, these are the fruits of my exercise.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

18 Responses

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  1. Craig said, on 28/11/2010 at 5:26 pm

    Mark,

    I enjoyed your images and your thoughts. The ‘quietness’ reminds me, somewhat, of an incident in Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’. If you have read the book , you will be familiar with the moment; I am referring to a scene involving Prince Andrew and clouds.

    Craig

    • Mark said, on 28/11/2010 at 11:54 pm

      Hi Craig. A near death experience, where the habitual emotional body is blasted from the scene and simple intelligence sees – what is, for a change?

  2. arvind said, on 24/11/2010 at 11:57 am

    as always amazing …

  3. roseroars said, on 24/11/2010 at 10:30 am

    Wise words from the wisdom of Nature. You are a wonderful listener.

    And…cutest…spiders…ever.

    • Mark said, on 28/11/2010 at 11:43 pm

      Thanks Rose, a lovely flower and a spider lover. ((:

  4. jamyun said, on 24/11/2010 at 12:21 am

    thanks Mark..your effort on these pic is highly appreciated..i really like it..everything is perfect..that is how i see it

    • Mark said, on 24/11/2010 at 10:30 am

      Thanks Jamyun. That’s right … perfect as it is, and a life’s work to see it – perhaps.

  5. Martin Hellewell said, on 23/11/2010 at 4:14 am

    Wow again! Another marvellous collection of photos accompanied by wise and thoughful words.

    Just one thing – what’s that beastie 2nd and next to last? I’ve never seen the like of it in the UK.

    Martin

    • Mark said, on 23/11/2010 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks Martin, ’tis the nature that’s marvelous. That’s a spider, Orb Weaver I think – first time I’ve seen this one, and hiding in full view.

  6. photobyholly said, on 22/11/2010 at 11:14 pm

    WOW!! Beautiful!!

  7. Jenn said, on 22/11/2010 at 10:11 pm

    Magnificent Nature,magnificent craftsman thou art..with love and gratitude…….beautiful as always..glad I dropped in.

    • Mark said, on 23/11/2010 at 10:49 pm

      Thanks Jenn, the Craftsman is surely behind the matter.

  8. Ali said, on 22/11/2010 at 5:42 pm

    Amazing Macro shots..

  9. photographyfree4all said, on 22/11/2010 at 4:08 pm

    Absolutely great shots, Mark! Stunning macro!

    • Mark said, on 23/11/2010 at 10:48 pm

      Thanks pf4a, magnificent nature – really.


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