Photographing your Local Patch with Paul Miguel
I’ve travelled to a number of countries photographing nature but for me there is nothing more satisfying that capturing strong images close to home. One of my favourite haunts is Letchmire Pastures, less than ten miles from my home in Leeds.
I often visit with my Canon 1D Mark IV and three Canon lenses so that I can take advantage of a range of opportunities. Letchmire is only a small nature reserve but it is still possible to shoot with a wide angle lens to capture expansive views. I prefer to shoot early and late in the day for the best light – my lens of choice being the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Lens. It’s a perfect lens for landscape photography and the large thread size allows use of the 6”x 4” filter system.
Wide shots give a good idea of the location, but it’s often the smaller things that invoke reactions and intrigue the viewer. I spend a lot of time seeking out these more isolated images often using my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens .This is perfect for close ups of plants and insects and is a wonderfully sharp lens throughout. These close up views give a more intimate view and often tell more of a story…
At times I’ll reach for my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens. I find this lens particularly useful for medium distance shots and ‘semi-close ups’. Using this prime lens I can stop down the aperture and get superb clarity. In these situations it also ensures good edge sharpness.
To really get under the skin of your local patch I think it’s important to test yourself and look for more abstract images. At Letchmire, the overhead power lines are a constant companion, but rather than ignore them I often include them in a more abstract image. For me this really sets the scene and says a lot more than a standard landscape shot ever could.
Paul Miguel is a professional nature photographer based in Leeds. He is widely published and runs photography workshops in Yorkshire and tour abroad. For more information visit Nature Photography Courses.