It don't seem like I have been taking photos for 26 years. Not long after I bought my first SLR camera I met this guy one day. He was taking photos of a wood lily. I stopped and chatted with him and later my Mom yelled at me for talking to a stranger. Well that night at bingo my Mom sat down next to this same guy and his wife that she has known for years. The next day this guy took me under his wing as the saying goes and taught me everything he could about photography. He passed away a few years ago...but his teachings will remain with me forever. The one thing he always told me is watch your back ground. I watched him and learned...he would carefully remove dead grass and other things from behind the subject if it was possible. He never disturbed the subject if he could help it and never ever put the subject in jeopardy. He tried to frame the subject so the back ground was always clean and plain. He taught me so much and I still use those teachings today. The two images I'm sharing today is some of the teachings he shared.
The top image has a confused and distracting background. After I took the shot I knew I needed to make this subject stand out better, so I placed a piece of firewood behind the subject. I than cast a shadow on the wood and left the subject in the sunlight. The resulting image turned out just like I thought it would. He also taught me to use the smallest f stop as conditions would allow. I will always be grateful to him and will miss his humor and teachings.