I was walking our dog Sunny and he wanted to go to a nearby park. The park was filled with dandelions and a few puffballs. I was soon down on the ground creating images of dandelions.
And then I remembered a puffball photo by Dewitt Jones. The sky was blue and the sun was high, so I lay down on the ground with my iPhone and pointed it up at puffballs. I wanted the sun right behind a puffball. With my phone at ground level pointed up, I could not see the viewing screen so I would line up the shadow of the puffball with the lens on the phone. I tried a variety of different angles. The photo at the top came out the best.
Dewitt Jones is a world class photographer and he has been an inspiration to me for years. Every month I would look forward to his “Basic Jones” column in Outdoor Photographer. You can read some of them at the link below.
Dewitt was a photographer for National Geographic for 20 years and he does commercial photography. He has also become a sought after public speaker.
I bought his inspirational film, Extraordinary Visions which is one of his keynote addresses illustrated with his images. At least once a year I watch this film for for inspiration. It is thaty good. It is about photography but it is also about how we live our lives. In the film he talks about taking pictures of puffballs and he shared this photograph. This has become one of his signature images. This is the photo that popped into my head when I was photographing dandelions in the park.
So there in the park I channeled my inner Dewitt Jones.
Here’s a tip for those of you who walk your dog and sometimes take pictures. If Sunny spotted a squirrel in the park, he would be off and running. While I was down on the ground photographing puffballs his leash was tied to my ankle, not around my wrist. He would tug on the leash as he sniffed here and there, but tugging just pulled at my ankle, not my camera hands.
I wrote about the puffball image on this blog a few days after I created it and sent a link to Dewitt Jones. He was kind enough to send a nice email back.
Dandelion Puffball, iPhone Photo Inspired by Dewitt Jones
Basic Jones – a few of his columns at Outdoor Photographer
Dewittâ€™s Keynote Speeches on DVD
Buy Extraordinary Visions at Dewitt’s web site