Macro Green Tree Frogs At Hopeland Gardens In Aiken, SC


Macro Green Tree Frogs at Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina

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While wandering the grounds in Hopeland Gardens, I was just east of the reflecting pools when I noticed a bunch of things falling out of the bushes.  I was too far away from them to tell what they were, but dozens of objects were suddenly falling.  At first I thought maybe they were blooms that had served their purpose and were being discarded, but it was strange so I stopped, listened, and watched a bit more intently.  It was green tree frogs – hundreds of them!  Obviously, they’ve really made a comeback.  I haven’t ever seen that many at Hopeland Gardens, and I can’t recall ever seeing a concentration of them like that (even at the swamp where I could count on seeing lots of these little guys).  That area was literally crawling with so many of them that they were crowded.  I think that the frogs in my Froglets piece haven’t been out of the water that long.  Their heads and backs are rounder and softer looking, they were small, and, if you look closely, you can still see a partial tail.


They apparently climb up onto the leaves, vines, and branches, and then when something scares them, they just jump down into the bigger leaves and ground cover below.  I lightly walked around and found a few that decided they liked their perch and were going to stay put.  I had to move real slow (you could say that I needed to sneak up on them) to get in place.  Of course, I estimated where the height of the tripod should be and already had it set so it was a matter of being very careful with both approaching them and positioning the tripod.  Making the setup more challenging was the fact that the frogs were in the shade while the rising sun was starting to really light up some of the nearby flora as it began to filter through the trees.  In order to avoid taking too much light away from the frogs (or blowing out portions of the background), I had to find a perspective that let me shoot into leaves and bushes not yet too brightly lit.  I think that’s one of the things that I love about photography – you constantly have to determine solutions that solve little problems (most of which have aesthetic consequences).



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Author: Steven Dillon

Discover behind-the-scenes details, aesthetic decisions, artistic visions, and compositional choices for my pieces in The Artist’s Story posts.

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