Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Get Out There: Photography Meetup at the Butterfly Pavilion

He Survived Rosie, originally uploaded by Sheba Wheeler.

On Saturday, I met up with members of the Mile High Digital Photography School for a fun photo shoot at the Butterfly Pavilion. One of the things I love about participating in this group is that it forces me to get out and shoot for fun and experiment. This meetup definitely tested my resolve as well as my creativity!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am deathly terrified of spiders, and I'm not too keen on creepy crawly bugs such as beetles and ants either.

Rosie the Tarantula

But I found myself fascinated by those things that scared me the most, especially this hairy tarantula named Rosie. Inspite of myself, I kept going back to it and watched while people bravely allowed the arachnid to crawl on their outstretched palm. I just knew I HAD to do it!

Taking photos of the critter helped me gain some confidence and getting encouraged by my friends finally did me in. I sat down, breathing hard and heart pounding. I thought just smelling my fear alone would cause the tarantula to take a chunk out of my hand. Instead, she crawled gently across my palm. I could barely feel her. If my hand had been made of sand, I don't even think she would have left a trail in her wake. I survived Rosie!

Members of Mile High DPS Social Group

We spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the other critter displays and witnessed the release of the butterflies, taken just moments after they had emerged from their chrysalis.

Blog Monthly Assignment: Decisive Moment

All of the social group members had imagined this grandoise daydream where a staff member would open her arms, launching thousands upon thousands of butterflies into the air for a fantastical aerial display. Well, we were wrong. All the staff member did was place the butterflies on a tree where they were allowed to take flight when they were able.

Luring a Butterfly

We still got some great shots out of it, including this one image I turned in as my decisive moment entry. One of the butterflies flew and perched atop this young woman's head! She sure was a good sport about I don't think I would have been able to stop myself from smacking it off my head.

Blog Monthly Assignment: Decisive Moment

Turns out my 75-300 lens on my Canon 5D was not a good choice for this shoot. I was unable to get as close as I wanted to get to an object because of the minimal focusing distance (even though the lens touts itself as a macro lens). There were simply too many people vying for the same space in such a small area, and I didn't have enough room to get to a focusing range my telephoto wanted. It beeped at me most of the evening, refusing to shoot at all in some instances. I may have done much better to shoot with my XTi (which has a dedicated macro setting). Can't wait to go again and get more practice. Part of being a successful photographer is knowing what gear to use in what shooting situation!

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