The Wonder of Nature Photography

Texas Bluebells (Eustoma exaltatum)

Texas Bluebells (Eustoma exaltatum); copyright Jeff Parker, 2013

June 15th is Nature Photography Day. It’s a day to reflect on nature photography, what it means to you, and—most importantly—get out there and take a picture!

Why do I care about nature photography?

I have a lifelong obsession with the natural world. My wife, Mary, calls me her “Wonder Junkie.” Always looking for my next fix.

Nature photography allows me to share that Wonder with others. Perhaps, more importantly, it gives me a semi-legitimate excuse to be outside pursuing that Wonder.

Of course, I love grand mountain vistas, Grizzly Bears, Bull Elk, colorful birds…who doesn’t? (I suppose there are folks who don’t love these things, but I try not to think about that.) But I have also found myself lost in Wonder on the side of the road with a macro lens in my hand. I’ve stopped to photograph wildflowers and, what seemed only a short time later, realized a full two hours had gone by.

Yes, I get lost deeply in Wonder.

This is why I spend WAY too much money on photo gear and challenge myself with the art and technique of photography. I can now do the things I would be doing anyway and claim to be “working.”

I encourage you to find your own Wonder through nature photography. Every day is a good day to do it, but I understand how difficult it can be to find time if this isn’t how you make your living. But maybe you can devote yourself to doing it for one full day –— Saturday, June 15th –— Nature Photography Day. Maybe for one full day you can get lost in the Wonder, you can head out with your camera in-hand and let your Wonder completely wander.

No matter where you are you can take a picture of something in nature. A blade of grass, an ant, clouds, the sun, birds, a Grizzly. Well, okay, depending upon where you live, a Grizzly might not be as easy to find, but even in the city nature is nearer than you might think. Bring along your Wonder and you’ll see.

When you have captured your image the next step is to share it. With Facebook, email, blogs, that’s easier than it used to be. NANPA, the sponsor of Nature Photography Day, even has a special Facebook page just for that purpose: Or, make a print to put on the wall, make notecards, whatever, but share!. If your image stays on your hard drive and nobody ever sees it, it might as well not exist. Of course, you still enjoyed feeling that Wonder, but others don’t get to share in it.

I will be on the road on June 15th, but I will post my Nature Photography Day image to this entry when I get home. Who knows what it will be—what Wonder I’ll stumble upon during my own adventuring on Nature Photography Day.

What will yours be? (…and if you’d like, please, feel free to share your Wonder with me.)

UPDATE ~ Here it is…as promised I’ve posted the photo I took on Nature Photography Day.

Wildflowers have a way of sucking me in. I photographed these beautiful Texas Bluebells to celebrate the day. It was perfect since they don’t start blooming until about mid-June. These are prairie flowers and will bloom, typically, throughout the summer in Texas.

I hope that you were able to get outside on June 15th and capture some images from the natural world. If circumstances didn’t allow it there is always tomorrow!