One of the exercises I give to all of my photo class students is to find a subject and photograph it from different viewpoints. The idea is to expand creativity and explore new ways of seeing a subject. You can apply this concept to almost anything you’re photographing.
Last month Natalie and I spent a week vacationing on the wet side of the Big Island of Hawaii. The weather was mostly overcast, with periods of heavy rain, not the brilliant sun most people think of for Hawaii. We spent a lot of our time exploring for plants and birds, including a couple of days at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Almost all the plants we saw were new to us. A lot of them blended together — mid-sized broadleaf evergreen shrubs and small trees that didn’t have showy flowers. But a few stood out and I made several photos of them with my pocket camera.
The photos I’m sharing here are all of Hawaiian Tree Fern, Hāpu‘u (Cibotium glaucum). If I’d only taken one photo I wouldn’t have captured the full essence of this amazing giant fern. I photographed several specimens to try to capture their giant size. Then I shot details of emerging fronds with their covering of wool-like fiber (called pulu and once used for dressing wounds and for stuffing mattresses and pillows).
The next time you’re vacationing, or even just photographing around your home and family, think about all the different ways you might create images of the same subject. You may not do this for everything you photograph, but you could be surprised at what you come up with that you might not have otherwise seen.