A Photo A Day Project.

Day 28: Let’s get back to nature. I know you’ve heard me say it before and you will hear me say it repeatedly because I can’t emphasise strongly enough the importance of taking time out and ‘grounding’ yourself. Grounding yourself is getting away from modern technology, getting away from the hustle and bustle of life, it’s getting yourself outdoors and planting your feet squarely back in nature. For some, ‘nature’ will be the grass in your back yard, the sand at the beach, the rainforest, the park down the road – whatever ‘nature’ is to you, it is important to get outside and literally ‘stop and smell the roses’. When I’ve been holed up inside for long periods of time I start to feel unsettled, anxious, like something’s not quite right. My children are the same, they start snapping at each other, talking back to me, whinging, unmotivated and ‘bored’ (which to me is unsettled). On a good day I can put a halt to this bad behaviour by recognising it for what it is and getting everyone out of the house and back into nature. Today was one of those days. It’s a Sunday and as much as I want to relax around home and do as little as possible I know it’s not going to make anyone feel better at the end of the day.

We jump in the car and head south west. The rainforest is my ‘nature’. I love the trees, the cool, the gentle flow of creeks and the calmness of a fresh water swimming hole.

We stop at a small picnic area (one I’ve discovered previously and know to be quiet and peaceful). I let the children go off and explore – they have grown up in the country and have been camping since they were babies so they are ‘nature smart’ and I trust them to climb, explore and discover nature without me needing to be two steps behind them. I am happy to watch, to listen and to breathe in the cool air.

I pick up my camera as I want to experiment with capturing the scene in front of me in a slightly different way. The image below is where we are, perched on the side of the creek among the trees. The water is not quite still as there is a slight drizzle of rain falling at the moment. Camera settings: ISO 640; f9; 1/80th circular polarising filter (CPL); Canon 100mm 2.8L lens. Sheryn-Ellis_1266_d28_blog

Next I wanted to break the rules (of taking a sharp – in focus image) and experiment with abstracts. I tried with a few different camera settings and was most pleased with this one in the end – it became my photo a day 🙂 Camera settings: ISO 160; f16; 1/5th; CPL filter; Canon 100mm 2.8L lens. Now not only are the camera settings important but how they were used. The technique here is to move the camera while the shutter is open to create the blurred effect. In this instance I moved the camera up & down as I clicked the shutter button. I did take some images moving the camera side to side however I felt the trees looked the best as long blurred lines rather than ‘streaks’ across the page. Sheryn-Ellis_1258_d28_blog

The next image shows the children exploring around the creek and again I liked their reflections in the water and how ‘small’ they are in this incredible scenery. Camera settings: ISO 640; f6.3; 1/60th; CPL filter; Canon 100mm 2.8L lens. Sheryn-Ellis_1275_D28_blog

We decided to end the day by driving to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to watch the afternoon bird feeding. Image below is one of the Lorikeets feeding 🙂Sheryn-Ellis_1285_D28_blog

Our Sunday ended up being pretty awesome because I chose to take some time out and ground myself and my children and we are all much happier for the experience. Honestly, for me, there is no better feeling than getting back to nature and being refreshed and re-invigorated ready to face the world again 🙂

Live. Love. Learn.

Sheryn Ellis, Portrait Photographer.