Common subjects, uncommon photo

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The bumblebee and green tree frog in this photo are common in Southeast Missouri, but capturing them together in a photo is uncommon. I am showing this photo today in hope that it will encourage budding nature photographers and nature observers to get out and enjoy nature. You may not have to go far to see something new, maybe no farther than your garden.

Because a thousand photos have been taken of the common green tree frog does not mean the photo you are about to take of one will be unimportant or insignificant. Be observant when out with your camera. It is not hard to find new and unexpected combinations of things in the natural world. 

Being ready to capture that fleeting image with your camera may be where the real challenge lies. It is discouraging when a great opportunity comes together right in front of you and your camera is not ready. It happens to me often and it will happen to anyone who goes out into nature with a camera. Don't be discouraged. Nature will give you another opportunity. 

The frog in this photo in not in good focus like I had hoped. I knew the frog was on the marigold and had taken a few photos of it when the bee suddenly entered the frame. I carefully changed my attention to the bee knowing that I had only maybe a second to get the picture before the bee flew away. I focused the camera on the bee, and without perfect camera settings to allow for a slightly deeper depth of field, the frog lost its sharp focus. I wasn't properly prepared.

I now have incentive to go back out because I could do better. But this exact combination may never present itself to me again. I have never seen a green tree frog on a marigold blossom before this experience, but I don't doubt that he was in a good place to catch a bug for lunch.

Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at the Painted Wren Gallery.

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