White Water Lily Environmental

Water Lily's at Fish Lake WMA

The Shot

 Prairies and wetlands have always intrigued me for landscape photography; I love to show the environment of these two eco systems, Around the middle of June to early July is one of the best times to photograph many aquatic botanical subjects. One of the most stunning of the aquatic flowers is the White Water Lily (Nymphaea tuberosa). Like many aquatic subjects they will grow in shallow backwaters, ponds and shorelines of many larger bodies of lakes. The stems of the flowers and lily pads can reach down to 3-4 feet of water usually into a very muddy murky bottom. Although the time frame of the bloom will last through most of the summer, I pick this time frame because the Lily pads are in peak condition and relatively flat, as the summer wears on the Lily pads become old and the edges begin to curl up and I consider the Lily pads an important part of my aquatic landscape. It takes me lots of time driving around to look for my "perfect" spot for this environmental image. But once I find it I put on my chest wader, mount the Nikon on the tripod and carefully walk into the wetland trying to find the perfect composition. Usually my tripod relatively low and just above the water line, I like to have some of the flowers relatively close to the bottom of the frame. However in this particular image the camera is just a tad higher because I wanted to show more of the water Lilies in the background. Almost always have my polarizer on and never use my cable release just the two second timer! There reason for no cable release is because the camera is close to the water and I have a very expensive cable release (intervalometer also) do not care to have it accidentally in the water. Always recommend to have camera/lens on tripod and any filters already installed on camera. Do not recommend to switch lenses or filters while standing in the wetland, obviously for various reasons. I already have a $100.00 GND filter at the bottom of Phantom lake at Crex Meadows WMA in Western WI! (lesson learned)  Moving around in a aquatic environment will not be like walking in the water at some sandy beach area. The bottom is very soft and you will sink in a few inches also  lots of things that want to wrap around your ankles and trip you up! So "CAREFULLY"  moving around is the answer. Also be sure to study the area where you see openings with no aquatic plants, chances are very great it is deeper than 4 feet, so I recommend you avoid those areas. I do not like to wade in much deeper than mid-thigh any deeper it makes it much more difficult to carefully move around. For many years after having my tripod in the bottom of lakes/ponds etc. When getting back home I would take my tripod apart to clean and lubricate. Just recently I purchased "Avocet Tripod Waders" from Tragopan Blinds (photographyblinds.com).This image was my first outing with them on the Gitzo and after lots of time in the wetland the legs of the tripod were perfectly dry!                                                  Also wetland landscapes can also been done out of a canoe or kayak! 

Technical Data

Camera: Nikon D850

Lens: Tamron 24mm-70mm @ 24mm

ISO 100

F-11 @ 1/100 second

Cloudy WB

Gitzo Tripod & RRS BH 55 Ball Head

Tripod Avocet waders

2 second timer


Post-Processing: Adobe CC (Lightroom and PhotoShop)