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Sleeping Lotus and sleepy photographers

posted by Martin Rubli at 13:34

And we continue our photo blog with a post that's much easier on the eyes than the ugliness of touristy Paris! Today's topic: Lotus flowers.

Last Saturday a friend invited me to join him and his mentor to take photos at a Lotus pond near 北埔 (Bei pu). I learned a thing or two about photography, but what I realized the most was that there are at least two very different types of photographers.

  • The first kind likes to get up early, say 4-6 in the morning, occupy a well-chosen spot, and patiently wait for the sun to rise to shoot the perfect photograph - a true work of art.

  • The second one doesn't like to change his sleeping habits because of his camera. He likes to drag it along, though, whenever he goes some place nice and then tries to shoot a great photo given the current angle and lighting conditions.

Have you guessed which type I am? Yes, big surprise, I don't like to get up early. :-) Either way, it's very interesting to observe the differences in both behavior and outcome.

My friend is of the first kind. He'll adjust his tripod for minutes, just to get the exact angle he has in mind. I, on the other hand, will rather look for a new subject than fidget with my tripod to make it stand in the muddy slope. Cause, you know, you have to clean it later and get your hands dirty ...

Obviously, the outcome is also very different. His photo collection is full with photos that you could hang on a wall and that will make people go "oooh" and "aaah".

My photos are much simpler. Still nice, I believe, but much simpler. My only real goal when I take photos is to capture the moment and make the photo look as impressive as what I perceive. I want my photos to tell a story and give people an impression of what the place and the atmosphere was like.

Do I wish I could take some more "artistic" photos once in a while? Of course, but I don't think I'm patient enough to focus on that. I'll just be learning it slowly - after all I have plenty of time. If BP keeps their wells shut nature will be around long enough for me to learn how to ban it on (virtual) film.

So, the photos below may not exactly reach my declared goal since it wasn't an actual trip. See it as the result of my exercise for there be more beautiful trip photos in the future! :-)


A pink Lotus flower (紅蓮).

A pink Lotus flower (紅蓮).

A duck was patiently waiting for me to clumsily set up my camera. It must have been used to being "shot".

A duck was patiently waiting for me to clumsily set up my camera. It must have been used to being "shot".

The dried seed cup of a Lotus flower.

The dried seed cup of a Lotus flower.

The flower of a Hibiscus (朱槿 or 扶桑花) tree.

The flower of a Hibiscus (朱槿 or 扶桑花) tree.

I have no idea what this plant is called but it certainly looks interesting.

I have no idea what this plant is called but it certainly looks interesting.

To the untrained eye these look a little like Daisies but to a professional like me they look like ... uh ... Taiwanese Daisies? ;-)

To the untrained eye these look a little like Daisies but to a professional like me they look like ... uh ... Taiwanese Daisies? ;-)

The more beautiful flowers I photograph, the more I think that serious flower photographers should have a botany degree, just to be able to name their pictures.

The more beautiful flowers I photograph, the more I think that serious flower photographers should have a botany degree, just to be able to name their pictures.

A wet Lotus petal floating on the water. I caught my friend setting up this stereotype scene but couldn't help taking a shot. :-)

A wet Lotus petal floating on the water. I caught my friend setting up this stereotype scene but couldn't help taking a shot. :-)

A Great Mormon (大鳳蝶 in Chinese or Papilio memnon heronus), a truly impressive butterfly.

A [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mormon Great Mormon] (大[http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/鳳蝶 鳳蝶] in Chinese or [http://taibnet.sinica.edu.tw/chi/taibnet_species_detail.php?name_code=347293 Papilio memnon heronus]), a truly impressive butterfly.

Luckily this particular one kept coming back, so I was able to take some fairly nice photos but it wouldn't quite sit still or turn its back towards me. I guess I still have a long way to go as a wildlife photographer ...

Luckily this particular one kept coming back, so I was able to take some fairly nice photos but it wouldn't quite sit still or turn its back towards me. I guess I still have a long way to go as a wildlife photographer ...

Water Lilies (睡蓮, literally "Sleeping Lotus").

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphaeaceae Water Lilies] ([http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/睡蓮 睡蓮], literally "Sleeping Lotus").

A Lotus flower (蓮花 or 荷花) with a leaf and a bud.

A Lotus flower (蓮花 or 荷花) with a leaf and a bud.

Close up of a Lotus flower (蓮花 or 荷花).

Close up of a Lotus flower (蓮花 or 荷花).

Doesn't the yellow seed pod (or "pudding" as I call it) simply look delicious?

Doesn't the yellow seed pod (or "pudding" as I call it) simply look delicious?

A dragon fly sunbathing on a Lotus bud.

A dragon fly sunbathing on a Lotus bud.

A close-up of a pink Water Lily.

A close-up of a pink Water Lily.

This photo would be so much nicer if it weren't for the spider. ;-)

This photo would be so much nicer if it weren't for the spider. ;-)

A white water lily.

A white water lily.

And another beautiful flower whose name I don't know ...

And another beautiful flower whose name I don't know ...

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