Photo Tip: “Shooting Through” to Paint Color

Roadside Lily Orange

In early Summer, many ditches alongside the country roads near my home are filled with patches of orange lilies. I look forward to seeing them every year knowing that other wildflowers will soon follow. Anyway, I spent some quality time in a ditch just outside the town of Pierron, Illinois to capture this image. The patch of lilies was plentiful and I was immersed in a sea of orange, the loud trucks of farmers passing nearby. Composing carefully, I placed the end of my lens very close to a pair of lilies and used them to paint the soft orange color in this image. It’s a technique sometimes referred to as ‘shooting through.’ By using it, I’m able to fill my image space with a lot of color, much like a painter would – only I fill it much faster; probably in 1/1000th of a second! Try the technique next time you are in the field.