This image represents April in my 2010 Lowcountry Calendar: http://www.southernlight.biz/. Live Oaks have got to be among the most magnificent trees on planet earth and here in the South Carolina lowcountry, we are blessed with more than our fair share. They are one of the most photographed subjects in the area and I am no different than a lot of other shooters in that regard. Live Oaks have made every one of my calendars since the year 2000 when I first started publishing. This picture was made at the grand entrance to Tomotley Plantation in Sheldon after we’d had enough rain to bring out the Resurrection Fern. I chose to shoot a detail shot by looking down one side of the long alley with a long lens to compress the huge, angular branches of nearly a dozen trees. I was after a part of the whole, rather than the entire “Gone with the Wind” scenic.
We as photographers need to learn to see as our lenses see. Practice seeing like the different focal length lenses in your camera bag, so you will know without putting a lens on your camera body what you will get. In my photo classes, I encourage students to use one focal length lens for a couple of weeks at a time, without using another. In my six-week class for example, I have an assignment where students use three different focal lengths, each lens for two weeks. The idea is to learn the potential of each lens so eventually you won’t have to deliberate too long before grabbing the lens you want when faced with any given situation. It’s challenging at first to find enough subjects to shoot using just one lens for this extended period, but if you stick with it you’ll expand your vision to utilize each lens to your full potential.