Through the Gadling Lens: inspirational nature shots from our Gadling Flickr pool

As you know by now, today we’re bringing attention to climate change and ecotravel here on Gadling. Personally, climate change and taking care of the environment is an issue that I’ve thought about a whole lot since becoming a parent — and to be honest, my daughter has become pretty passionate about it herself (“Mom, you forgot to turn off your computer! You have to save the environment!” is not an uncommon admonishment from her 5-year-old mouth). While I’m not perfect, we do try to do what we can in our home to help reduce our carbon footprint, and when we travel, I’m careful to be mindful of making eco-friendly choices — still, I figure we could all do with a bit of inspiration. And so today, I thought I’d post some of the finest shots I’ve found in our Gadling Flickr pool that feature this big blue marble we call home. Because this is a seriously beautiful planet that we get to live on.

On with the show.

Anyone who has ever visited my site knows that I’m a sucker for a good flower shot, and happily, the wonderful photographers who contribute to our Flickr pool did not disappoint. Here are some of my favourites:

This beautiful photograph of Hawaiian plumeria (or what we Trinidadians call “frangipani”) was shot and shared by vyxle. What makes this shot so stunning is how clear and sharp the texture is — because of the detail of the edges and surfaces of the petals, you can imagine exactly how they would feel between your fingers. Looking at this image, I remember the flower’s smell so vividly. Awesome.

I’m pretty sure that I featured this stunning image of a Thai water lily shot and shared by RedHQ before, but I can’t help myself: the colour palette of this image is stunning. Besides, who can resist the bee in mid flight, about to land on the centre of the flower with all of his friends? Awesome.

Finally, I love the simplicity of this image taken by Emerald2810. The perspective is so unique: by shooting upward, we get the impression that the flower is reaching toward the sun; in addition, by shooting in this manner, the sunshine really highlights the translucence of the petals. Lovely.


In addition to my daughter being paranoid about me using way too much energy at home (read: spending too much time in front of the computer), she’s also become obsessed about endangered animals: how they become endangered in the first place, and what we can do to save them. She’s also become concerned about where meat comes from, and since I’m a vegetarian, she has asked me several times in the past about why I made the choice to stop eating meat. One recent day, she made the decision that she was going to be a vegetarian, too, so she could, you know, “help the environment.” “Except for hot dogs,” she said. “I’m going to keep eating hot dogs. Oh, and chicken. And bacon. Ooh, man, and sushi …”

Well, anyway. At least she turns off lights.

Here are some great shots of some of the beautiful animals that grace our Flickr pool:

The movement in this shot of snow geese taking flight by MistyDays/CB is breathtaking, isn’t it? With the entire frame filled with their flapping wings, you can almost feel the breeze caused by their movement, and the energy of them all leaving en masse. Fantastic.

And how about this stunning shot of a green lizard by Fiznatty? What makes this image so spectacular is his clever use of bokeh, or shallow depth of field: notice how the lizard’s eyes are in sharp focus, while the rest of him fades to a soft blur (if you remember, this can be achieved by setting your aperture to a low number). Beautiful.

And finally, I love this shot of “George” shared by ohad*:

This is apparently George, a blue peacock who lives in New Mexico. ohad* did a great job of capturing the curious and not-entirely-pleased expression on George’s face, to very amusing effect. Well done.


Finally, a feature celebrating nature and all its beauty wouldn’t be complete without some of the stunning scenery shots captured by the photographers who share their work with Gadling.

This amazing image was captured by the very talented Buck Forester, whose work I’ve featured here before. The blues of the water, mirroring the blues of the sky are truly breathtaking, and a great reminder to be mindful of the colour palette available to you as you look through the viewfinder, checking for complementary colours, and framing the shot to maximize accordingly.

I will admit upfront that I’m drawn to this image shared by Andy Bokanev because I’ve actually stood in this very spot on Cannon Beach in Oregon. What I love about it is how unusual the image is, however: rather than the typical-white-sand-blue-sky type of shot, this image focuses on the moodiness of the sky, the clarity of the beachwater, and the austerity of Haystack rock. A great reminder to look for alternative perspectives when shooting.

I’m also drawn to scenery shots which capture movement caused by nature, and this shot of the Reynisdrangar (or basalt sea stacks, as I’ve come to learn) captured by t3mujin, totally fits the bill. I love how the mist (sea spray?) swirls around the gigantic rock formation, adding movement to the entire image. Breathtaking.

And finally, because I’m a sucker for a good aurora borealis, I love this shot by, again, fiznatty

This was captured over a bathhouse in Sweden, and the result is amazing. Personally, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to capture a shot like this; however, happily, fiznatty shares some of his secrets in capturing the aurora in the comments of this image. It is one of my life dreams to see the northern lights, so if I ever make it far enough north, I’ll definitely keep these tips in my back pocket.

So! If these images don’t inspire you to take care of the Earth (or at least capture some amazing images of it), then I don’t know what will. As always, if you have any questions or additional comments, as always, you can always contact me directly at karenDOTwalrondATweblogsincDOTcom – and I’m happy to address them in upcoming Through the Gadling Lens posts.

Karen is a writer and photographer in Houston, Texas. You can see more of her work at her site, Chookooloonks.
Through the Gadling Lens can be found every Thursday right here, at 11 a.m. To read more Through the Gadling Lens, click here.