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I was at Santa Margarita Lake in Santa Margarita, CA the other morning doing nature photography, shooting egrets, cormorants and other large waterfowl.
After a few hours of shooting the “big” birds by driving around, stopping; driving around, stopping, I was walking back to my car and noticed some butterflies in the tall grass and weeds. After a long morning of shooting, I decided to sit and watch the butterflies. I sat on a rock and proceeded to watch a very small area directly in front of me teaming with activity. I marveled at the activity in that one small area. It had been a long time since I had just sat and watched this small natural world as opposed to driving around the lake following the large waterfowl. What I realized was if I just sat there quietly in the moment, watching this world unfold before me, that nature would come to me – a zen-like experience, for sure.
The first attention grabber was the butterfly with the bright, vivid colors. Great shooting with the morning light. The butterfly went from flower to flower endlessly. Then there were the busy bees flitting from flower to flower. Then there was the moth… At this point I pulled out the 100-400mm and proceeded to do some hand-held macro shots. I had not taken the time to shoot macro in a long time. What an amazing world there is in such a small area right in front of me. No need to drive around – just sit and wait and let nature come to me. No need for extension tubes or a macro lens – although those would have been nice – just the 100-400 mm and my rock to sit on. What a great way to pass the morning, just sitting and watching nature come to me… I could have set up the tripod, but didn’t want to ruin the moment. With the 100-400 mm handheld, I was able to easily follow my tiny subjects as they flitted from flower to flower as we shared our morning. I love the world of nature photography, and the addition of macro photography opens up a whole new world.