Neighborhood rabbits

November 26, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

There are many rabbits in our neighborhood. My wife and I do a two mile walk most days of the week. At times we have counted up to forty rabbits on our walks. Since these rabbits are used to people they tend not to be skittish. So I decided that it was time to photograph them. You have heard me say time and time again, when talking about bird photography, that we need to get to eye level with the animals. Such images connect more with the animal and it allows you to blur the background better. So that is what I did. I laid flat on the ground.

It is easy to be tempted to get an image of animals or birds when they are out in the open. To make this happen, we pick a clear spot to settle down and photograph from. But what if we did the reverse? Since the rabbits allowed me to move around (cautiously), I deliberately picked spots to lie down with vegetation right in front of me. Doing so, rather than choosing a clear spot, allows me to have some of the greenery right in front of the lens. Why would you want that? Having vegetation right in front of your lens enables you to blur it just like the background is blurred. With everything blurred, the rabbit stands out more. The image is more impactful.

Now I would have preferred that the plant in front of the rabbit's face not be there, but don't you like the blurry green from front to back of the image, contrasted with the sharp rabbit? Deliberately placing vegetation right in front of your lens is what is creating the foreground blur. The idea is not to have vegetation in front of your whole view. Rather, you just lower your camera until the vegetation is barely in frame at the bottom of the image.

This technique allows your subject to pop, to stand out prominently. Since everything else in the image is blurred, there is nowhere else for the viewer's eyes to go but to look at the rabbit. This is what we want to achieve. We want to isolate our subject so that it is the only place of interest in the shot.

          This same technique can also be used in landscape photography to give depth, to separate the point of interest from the foreground. Move right up to vegetation. Place it blurred at the bottom of your frame. Now your subject is in the distance and it stands out more. Be creative and try this easy way of making things really stand out.


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