As I am taking these Florida Master Naturalist courses, I am developing new ways to learn, and nothing is better when your online courses get you out in nature. Granted, I was hesitant to divulge all my finances, what little I had, into something that I wasn’t sure if it was going to get me where I so passionately wanted to be. But here’s the thing- these courses motivated me and gave me that inspiration I needed. It gave me a reason to learn about what I love to photograph and dive deeper into learning about these different and incredible yet strange species that I never saw or had any knowledge of.
For those who are not seeking a college degree, learning takes extra time, stronger self-discipline, and extreme dedication. And you ask… if it takes so much time and effort, why do it? Passion. Passion for understanding what you are photographing. You can’t tell a story through your photography if you don’t know anything about what you are photographing.
How we learn shouldn’t be the subject because we all learn differently; the importance is educating yourself on how to become a better photographer by learning Florida’s amazing wildlife and ecosystems. And in turn, we become better stewards.
Within these courses, many of these students have different levels of education. At times I found it very challenging to understand something that may be so simple to others; it was actually hard for me to “wrap my head” around it. If you don’t ask questions, you are not telling the instructor two things: that there are people out there who don’t know that much about Florida’s ecosystems and that there are people out there who really want to learn.
For years, I was only looking at Florida’s surface, that top layer. It’s an amazing layer that I still have yet to scratch the surface, both photographically and educationally. However, I felt that journey was not complete. What I was missing was what makes everything connect, nurture, grow, and survive; Estuaries.
Since National Estuaries Week is September 19-26, I thought it would make great content for the magazine. So September’s issue, we will explore through the lens estuarine habitats and a variety of plants and animal species that live within them.
I hope you enjoy this upcoming issue as well as any posts.
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Categories: Nature Photography