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Your Simple Backyard Photography Studio

A Guest Post by: Simon Davidson

The first time I came across the concept of photography, the foremost image that popped into my head was the idea of wildlife and nature. The reason being because throughout my childhood I had seen wildlife photographers on television and in documentary films; and these were the only photographers I got to really see in action. Ultimately, wildlife, nature and the game reserve (Safari) attached itself; for me; to the concept of photography but as I gained immense interest in it, all became clear.

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Ever since my interest in photography began to develop about 6 years ago I had a fixation on photographing wildlife and nature, but because I lived in a big city (Johannesburg, South Africa) I often became slightly disheartened because all I wanted to do was get out into a game reserve and be in the wilderness! But one day I finally came across a place that all of you will be very familiar with, where there are birds in the trees, flowers dancing in the shade beneath, soil simply teaming with life, grass infested with little critters, dragonflies whizzing over the swimming pool… Just take a look in your back garden!

Attracting Life into Your Garden:

Some people may not have the luxury of birds and other creatures constantly roaming around their garden, but there are a couple extra things you can do that will definitely help attract them.

  1. Buy yourself a simple bird feeder and some bird seeds, hang it in one of your trees. Make sure to place it in a spot that you can photograph without any obstructions.
  2. Water your plant life and shrubs! If your plants are all dead, nothing will want to roam around your back yard jungle.
  3. Every so often, buy some fertilizer to help your plant life grow and to help your soil attract earth worms and other insects that birds will just love to snack on and pose for the camera.
  4. Maybe look into getting a small bird bath or pond. This will also help attract dragonflies which can produce some great photography.

Snack Time

On a bright and breezy Sunday morning whilst I was having breakfast, I noticed that there was a lot of activity on the grass viewable through the dining room glass doors. There were several birds in a feeding frenzy, all snacking on the creatures that crawled beneath the green freshly cut grass. In a situation like this, my breakfast took a prompt back seat and I got my camera and zoom lens out and I proceeded to silently get myself into a good position in the garden. I ended up lying flat on my stomach on the grass that was ever so slightly damp from the early morning dew.

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Sometimes you need to get yourself a little dirty when you’re out doing some photography, but that can all be cleaned up later on whilst your images are uploading to your machine. You may need to lie flat on your stomach in a pile of dirt, or be knee deep in murky muddy water (make sure it is clear of crocs)… that’s what makes photography so exciting.

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Keep Shooting!

Check out Simon’s photoblog at www.simondavo.com and follow him on Twitter here.

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