Lotus Flower and Leaves, Kolkata, India

A lotus flower on a pond in the grounds of the Kolkata Botanical Gardens in Kolkata, India.

Here's a photo of a lovely red flower in the Botanical Gardens in Kolkata (i.e., Calcutta) in the state of West Bengal, India. It's a simple image and is a great example of my approach to photography which, so often, is based upon the notion of making something out of nothing.

Shape, Texture And Timing Makes Better Photos

I think there are three factors that came together to create a harmonious composition. I can define those elements as follows:

  • the shape and texture of the Lilly pads
  • the color of the flower petals
  • the fact that the shutter was released just as the circular patterns were created in the water on the right edge of the frame

An old boat in the grounds of the Botanical Gardens in Kolkata, India makes for a very idyllic, pictureseque image.

The Problem With Making Photos Under The Midday Sun

I would have had an easier time making this image if the original photo had been made closer to the edge of the day. As it was I made the image under bright, intense sunlight.

I had to provide plenty of exposure to the original file and then pull a few tricks in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to be able to hold subtle highlight detail on the surface of the water and Lilly pads.

 
All The Young Dudes, Kolkata, India

Learn To Use Your Camera

 

Traditional And Digital Solutions To Better Manage Contrast

Long ago I used to travel with a reflector and diffuser. The diffuser, if I'd had someone with me to hold it, could have been held above the scene so as to place it into open shade and, thereby, reduce the harshness of the light and the resulting high contrast.

These days I prefer to carry less equipment and resolve such issues through composition and, if need be, on the desktop.

I made the image with my then Canon 5D Mark II camera with a Canon 24-105mm f/4 L series lens at 105 mm. The exposure was 1/250 second with an aperture of f/11 at ISO 400.

Green and golden leaves on a huge tree at the Botanical Gardens in Kolkata, India.

Nature Photography Helps Us See The World Anew

Nature is wonderful to behold, but often uncooperative when it comes to complying with the needs of the photographer.

In the case of studio still life photography the creation of an ideal composition can be achieved through careful and deliberate intervention where objects are moved and reordered within the bounds of the frame.

The natural world is far less forgiving. The photographer has to see the potential within the larger environment and then be able to position themselves in such a way to make best use of the light, subject matter and the camera equipment at hand.

 
Ruins, Kolkata, India

About To Travel?

 

While it's often difficult to produce an ideal result, nature photography is still a great deal of fun and brings photographer and viewer in contact with the world in a way that's often different to how they would otherwise perceive it.

Photography is as much about what’s excluded from the frame as what’s included.
— Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru

You'll often find that the closer your exploration the more remarkable the realization. Move in close, think about what surrounds your subject and minimize all distractions so as to draw the attention of your audience to what matters most.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru