Noticing the details in nature

Nature blogger John Watson captures his great wildlife photos by slowing down and paying attention. 

All images © John Watson
All images © John Watson

20 June 2016  

Advertisement

1a5cdfb8-bf52-4f37-9409-908a4f16c5da_623_John20Watson-c53c043

“In an idle moment a discovery is made…  the beauty and intricacy of a silver birch leaf becomes clear when the sun illuminates it from the behind. The details that are revealed are quite breathtaking.  

0X8A7739_John20Watson-1d2977c

After admiring the complex network of veins, used to transport water and carbohydrates around the leaf, it doesn’t feel quite right to remove it from the tree. 

0X8A8416_John20Watson-f55c4b3

Instead, I wait for a lull in the late afternoon breeze and do my best to photograph it while still attached to its host.

0X8A8430-1_John20Watson-ef9cf58

To me, that’s my role as a photographer – to capture the beauty of nature without interfering with it. Somehow I feel better knowing that small leaf is still there, making food for it’s tree as it was designed to do.

0X8A8441_John20Watson-70270f3

As someone with an interest in photography, I like to think I understand light, and the effect it has on everything around us, but I didn’t think about how it might transform my view of that small silver birch leaf. 

0X8A8460_John20Watson-0509a79

This discovery has made me realise that sometimes the best way to understand what’s around you is to slow down and start noticing the details, and then you become aware of a whole new world.

0X8A8552_John20Watson-be535a8

And now it seems to me that my lens is a microscope, and I can point it at anything to see fantastic details. 

Then I move the camera away from my eye-line and realise I can still see this new world with nothing but my own eyes…  I just never really looked before.

Read more great blog posts by John Watson, The Waterland

Advertisement

For a chance to win BBC Wildlife Blogger of the Month get involved in our Local Patch Reporters project by sharing your wildlife blog on our Forum.