You know you’re a nature photographer when…

… you’re on your knees in muddy water, leaning precariously forward into long grass, tilting your head so that your headlamp illuminates the subject enough to painstakingly manually focus your macro lens, ignoring the four large mosquitos feasting on your hand and the others trying to land on your face… to get this shot:

Litoria brevipalmata - the endangered Green Thighed Frog - calling.

Last night, I went on an expedition with the expert frogger Clay (check his flickr here) and the photographer/videographer extraordinare, Nicolas (check his website here and flickr here). The heavy rain over the past 2 days made the bush a paradise for amphibians of all varieties. The tone for the night was set when we approached our first destination. Clay abruptly pulled over his car and leaped out onto the road, rescuing a large green frog from the oncoming traffic.

These big guys were everywhere, fearlessly croaking their readiness for action...

The rain had eased to a light drizzle, but the cacophony from the frogs was deafening. In the first 10 minutes of a walk down a partly flooded track, our expert guide had found no less than 5 different frog species. After a short, amphibian-rich stroll, we moved on to another location. It was noticeably quieter, and it looked for a while like we might go home empty handed.

A Litoria gracilenta - this one was a natural model.

Nic and I were strolling back along the path when Clay, who’d rushed off ahead, called us into the bushes to the side of the track. We tramped through the undergrowth and found Clay, who’d spotted the Red Eyed Frog (above) and was carefully tracking the call of the endangered Green Thighed Frog, pictured at the top (for a different angle, check out this shot). We managed to spot it, sitting on a low branch in the undergrowth, and it continued its intense, undulating, vibrating call while we took some snaps.

It’s easy to look at the negatives – it was wet, mosquito-ridden and wasn’t a walk in the park – but it’s being able to get amongst nature and see these animals in their element that makes the effort worth it. So, thanks Clay, for inviting me along, and thanks Nic, for the lend of your 50mm macro – boy, was it sharp!

A dwarf tree frog, Litoria fallax, perched on a reed. This individual was about 2.5cm long. Click to view big on black.

If you like these shots, feel free to check out some of my other photo posts by clicking here!

Categories: Fun Things On Land, photos | Tags: , , , , | 55 Comments

Post navigation

55 thoughts on “You know you’re a nature photographer when…

  1. Pretty good pics fr a beginner! :-)

  2. Nice pics, I see you have a deep passion for photograhpy from you intro. What camera were you using because I am trying to find a really nice DSLR Camera and looking from your pictures you kno what you are doing.

    Keep your passion alive.

    • Thanks Orange. These were taken using a Canon 40D with an old 50mm f/2.5 macro lens. Almost all of the digital SLRs on the market now can deliver great photos – you’ve just got to put in a bit of time to learn how it works, and then find a good subject!

  3. They look scary lol

  4. mymoffit

    I think you did a great job! You obviously enjoyed doing it and you came back with very satisfying results. Kudos to you guys. I was chuckling about what back in the good (?) old days would have been a photographic pun– to quote you; “It’s easy to look at the negatives…”… Nice blogging, too.

  5. Hi, I couldn’t help but smile as you are describing your experiences when you were taking these pictures. You’ve been bitten by the photo bug very badly. The good thing is that your subjects seem to have cooperated well because, I encounter a lot of subjects who chooses to look away or jump away as I am pressing the shutter! Great work on your post and most importantly, great pictures!

  6. I love your photographs and your skill at taking great shots from amazing angles. Am adding you to my blog as one of the sites I want to revisit and also get my readers to visit. Great photography!

  7. Goncalo Botelho

    I love photography and these are definitely stunning pictures. I liked Litoria Gracilenta the most! =)

  8. I know the feeling man. great photos! keep it up!

  9. Excellent photos. Your description of the realities of photography make me enjoy looking rather than doing the actual hard work.

  10. great work!

  11. Cute little guys. Nice shots!

  12. Great photos! I recently bought a Nikon 50mm lens and am loving it!

  13. Superb photographs! Been there too – strange thing is that you cant feel or care about those mosquitos biting when you are looking through the lens at such amazing animals :-) Can so relate to pulling over to save frogs from oncoming traffic too! Keep up the good work – will look out for more cool pics from you!

    • That’s very true Andrew – as soon as you find one and get into position for a shot, you’re in the zone and it takes more than just a couple of little bloodsuckers to ruin the moment!

  14. It’s great to have something to be that passionate about. Great pics, stick with it!

  15. Shauna

    awesome pictures


    Me gustaría que publicaras en la portada principal de tu blog el artículo que se encuentra en mi blog, y habla sobre:


    En europa millones de personas apartir del 2 de Marzo elegirán su navegador WEB.

    Es importante simpre mantener la seguridad en internet, adultos y niños cuando navegen.

    Espero, pronto tu respusta.


  17. These froggies are beautiful! Thanks for sharing the experience.

  18. I love frogs and your pictures are superb !!
    Just incredible !

  19. If Nobody Speaks

    Excellent frog photographs. Sounds like a wonderful experience even with the rain and mosquitoes.

  20. Funny, I just finished a Nature Photography workshop a few hours ago and come home to see, “You know you’re a Nature Photographer when..” on the homepage. Small world. Love your froggies! Gloris

  21. I love Frogs!!!
    Great writing and your photos are amazing..

  22. Awesome photographs! I went to the Berlin Zoo last year, and sadly most of the pictures I brought home of frogs where… Let’s just say that they weren’t exactly art.. .

    • Yes, getting a good shot at a zoo is tricky; the benefit of getting in the wild is the chance to get shots of the animals in their element – plus, these frogs didn’t seem to even notice us, so we could work the angles and get right up close without a problem!

  23. Great photography. I love photography too and I have my Nikon D90 on layby as we speak. Looking forward to paying it of so I can get back into it. It has been a long time since I picked up a camera, mainly because I stopped travelling. But it is an art form I want to improve my skills in. You can check out some of my pics on my blog.

    I love the picture of the frogs. They are so cute. Well done, nice work.

  24. Excellent David, You really wrote the reality :D, my legs are still itchy !

    I’m writing my article currently, it will be uploaded soon (I need to finish the videos, try to stabilize everything…)

    The fallax shot is excellent :)

  25. zegor

    Awesome photos. I love the last one, great shot!

  26. Hi,
    I enjoy your photography and your blog. The photo of the dwarf tree frog is beautiful, I love the DOF. beautiful finds even if the conditions were a bit…soggy! I look forward to your future posts.

  27. julianusginting

    wow…i like this picture… :-)

  28. Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

  29. Sapos afffff , não é minha praia,
    ou melhor minha lagoa…. rs rs
    Mas as fotos estão ótimas, e enfrentar tudo isso , é realmente profissionalismo.
    Com certeza, eu não teria esta coragem , rs
    Parabéns! Lindas fotos!

  30. It was worth the bites! The pictures are lovely.

  31. just some kid

    wow!! i wish i could tack cool pictures like that,i just got my own camera and it’s all wees by my side,i love tacking pictures of flowers,you’ve got a really good eye for pictures.

    • Keep practicing and the good shots will come – the more you get a feel for how your camera works and when the best time is for taking pictures, the better they will look!

  32. Loved your shots and subject! Adventure has a price, but often well worth it, as you’ve reminded us. Thanks for sharing this!

  33. Love your work. Both photography and as an environmental scientist. It’s great to know of people who care.

  34. Great Pictures. My son’s name is froggy and he had a blast looking at them.
    You should enter dwarf tree frog into the Green Contest on They are totally cool.

  35. Very nice pictures indeed. But sorry I dont have a thing for frogs. How about people and some other subjects?
    Looking at these, I have become very interested to know what you might present.
    Very good camera work.

    • Thanks Anand – I haven’t done much work with people, though I am photographing a few events coming up which will be much more portrait type work. I mainly got into photography for surf and nature, though I do need to expand my range a bit.

  36. Thanks to you all for superb photos and blog. Hope you felt it was worth being a mosquito’s supper!

  37. oh my, so beautiful

  38. Great photos! The pictures are lovely.

  39. I really like these photos, and I also enjoy the “surf” photos you take. I’m going to add you to my blog roll, too! Keep up the great work…and stop by and visit any time!

  40. Pingback: Tired & grateful « Lake Superior Spirit

  41. Some beautiful shots there, cute frogs too :)

  42. Hi David, I ambled on over here from Kathy’s post – what beautiful photos! You must have seriously impressive dedication to be willing to tramp through rain-soaked and mosquito-infested bushes at night to get piccies of frogs. Well done!

  43. David, I thought I already commented here…maybe did…but maybe not! Just wanted to echo what Reggie just said. These are some wonderful photos and you have a lot of tenacity to capture those colorful frogs. Thank you, and glad you had your day in the spotlight. You and the froggies! :)

  44. Pingback: Dick to the Dawk « David Robertson

  45. Pingback: Halfway through March Madness « David Robertson

  46. Pingback: Get out there and get wild « David Robertson

  47. Pingback: When it rains…

  48. Pingback: Leaving behind the ghosts « David Robertson

  49. Fellow photographers, just thought you might want to check it out:

    You can upload your photos as background as well. CRAZY.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: