I have always been fascinated by tiny things. I love miniatures that work, like tiny flashlights or little tools that are capable of much more than one would expect. I know exactly when that fascination came about (related to a book I much enjoyed as a small boy), and even in the knowing it has never waned. Given a choice, I’ll go for small and compact.
One of the things I love about photography is the little surprises. I’m always taking pictures that surprise me in little ways. Often, even when I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about a shot, or looking at something from different angles, I’ll look at the image onscreen and see something I hadn’t noticed — a highlight, a reflection, a little detail in the background. These are the little things that keep me fascinated.
Another of my photographic fascinations is the tiny, unnoticed things around us. I love photographing the tiny flowers that others pass without noticing, the bugs that others don’t see. Often I get one of the surprises I mentioned in unseen insects. I took the above picture of a sunflower, backlighted by the sun (another favorite thing of mine) on a flying trip through the Nebraska Sand Hills last summer. Jumped out of the Explorer, snapped the shot, and promptly forgot about it. Back home in Florida, when I looked closely while editing, I discovered not one, but four little surprises. Did you see them when you first looked at it?