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The Little Things
Sep 6, 2011
South Dakota is known for beautiful, wide open spaces, but did you know that compelling images can be made in a seemingly boring pasture or even your own backyard or garden? Up until last year, I had occasionally heard the term “macro” photography but really didn’t pay that much attention to it. Big mistake! Once I got a macro lens on my camera, my world of photography was literally given a brand new dimension to play in.
A macro lens is engineered to allow a photographer to focus on things that are very near to the camera lens. This allows for amazing close-ups of the little things. I have found interesting images in the pistils and stamens of colorful wildflowers as well as intriguing detail of things that normally would make you squirm, like bees, beetles and moths.
In early June, the temperature dipped to 38 degrees in Pierre, SD overnight. I happened to be out at Isabel Lake that morning as the sun came up. All the low lying areas were thick with fog and one of the heaviest dews I have seen in West River. I spent a couple hours wading and kneeling in the prairie grasses getting dew shots on grass and dew shots on spider webs and dew shots on pretty much anything I could see. It was really quite magical. When I got home, it looked like I had waded in the lake all morning as I was that soaked to the bone. Leave it to South Dakota to offer up such diversity in weather and photo opportunities!
The next day I was out looking for Prickly Pear Cactus blooms on the river hills and found some amazing drama on a rock face. A Dung Beetle had wandered too close to a foraging group of red headed thatching ants. The (relatively) big beetle had no chance as the ants firmly attached one to each leg and was pulling the beetle taut so he couldn’t move. It was really amazing to see, although I had to move on before the drama was over as the ants quickly discovered me and were half way up to my knee before I left. Until next time, enjoy the South Dakota scenery (and the little things)!
Christian Begeman grew up in Isabel and now lives in Sioux Falls. When he's not working at Midcontinent Communications he is often on the road photographing our prettiest spots around the state. Follow Begeman on his blog, www.cbegeman.blogspot.com.