A writer I listened to warned of writing clichés. Makes sense, I thought. And then: are there clichés in photography? The way to avoid writing clichés, the writer explained, was to stay true to your voice and to make sure that it comes out as you, not something you think readers want to read.

That made me think: what is my voice when it comes to photography? I love birds, so I take lots of pictures of all kinds of birds. But the thing that is probably most typical of my voice is that I love details.

Some people love sweeping landscapes, big meadows of flowers, I love petals.

If I can get close to an object without disturbing it, I try my best to get the most detail. Not quite microscopic, but close. How can you not marvel at the tiny hairs on these leaves? And yes, the water droplet is pretty cool, as well.

I’m not a fan of spiders, but getting close to them behind my camera is no big deal. Why? Because then they become creatures with interesting details, not scary insects.

Did I mention that I like details? In some cases a good, strong lens helps. No macro shots for this guy!

So are these close-ups clichés? Maybe, but this is my voice, and I keep getting back to it. Because who doesn’t love seeing every feather of a Red-tailed Hawk?

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