For those of you who’ve been following me for even a short time you’ve probably realized I rarely do “Inside.” So when it came to photos for this weeks challenge I had to do a little digging for images that fit the theme.
One way or another, loosely or literally, here are my “Inside” shots.
The mountains are my church, and the windswept summits are the altar upon which I find solace.
In The Church Of Ice And Snow.
Many worship behind stained glass, or under minarets.
My place of worship is in solitude, high on a mountain ridge as I watch the sun dip below the western horizon. As the warmth of daylight is replaced by the cool blue of twilight, this is where I find peace and salvation.
For me, this is Heaven.
Getting up close and personal with a wide-angle lens is a great way to play with perspective in a photograph. Placing the camera close to your foreground element, in the case of the image above, the “giant” boulder made nice foreground element.
In reality, that “giant” boulder in the foreground is only slightly larger than a soccer ball. Setting up my tripod in the water so the camera was only about 12″ (30cm) from the rock rendered it quite large in the frame.
Another way to manipulate perspective is to use a telephoto lens to compress the scene. Using my 70-200mm lens I was able to create the illusion that the mountain ridges in the above image are much closer together than they are.
Another benefit of using a telephoto lens in landscape photography is the ability to isolate a small part of the wider view. The result you’re left with in an image that focuses more on shape and line than the grand scenic views. Though the below image does a bit of both ;-)
Since I first picked up a camera in the spring of 2008 I’ve traveled all over the state of New Hampshire making pictures.
Here are a few of the things I’ve found abandoned along the way.
The 2:3 Curse.
Most digital cameras capture images in a 2:3 ratio. Quite often though that ratio of height to width isn’t going to work to give you the best representation of the scene you’re trying to photograph. That’s why cropping is such a great tool.
For me the crop is an invaluable creative tool for achieving the optimal composition. After I’ve uploaded my files to the computer, I’ll regularly play with various crops to see if there is one that really works well. And like most, my cropping is done after the fact, in the computer, when I see the possibility of a stronger composition than the one the original capture provided.
Lately though I’ve been cropping in my head before I ever press the shutter. With a little vision, or pre-vision, I’ve started looking for the best composition within a scene. Better than the one the camera is going to capture, no matter how I frame the shot.
Sometimes, when I’m composing a photograph there is just too much extra “stuff” in the frame, and due to the available shooting position, or the subject itself, I’m unable to eliminate the extra “stuff” at the time of capture. And as a result the photographs aren’t as strong as they could be. Here is where the mental cropping comes into play.
Take these two photos of Glen Ellis Falls in northern New Hampshire.
Actually it’s the same photo twice.
The one on the left is the entire scene as my camera saw it, the one on the right is the final image I envisioned, having mentally cropped it before I pressed the shutter.
For me the one on the right is a much stronger image due to the exclusion of most of the darker cliff on the right, as well as some of the stream on the lower right. Also, since this is a rather tall and narrow waterfall, the tall and narrow crop emphasizes its height as well as my low POV and the great texture in the foreground ice.
There are also times when there isn’t enough “stuff.”
Have you ever gone out for a sunrise hoping for just the right amount of clouds in the sky to reflect the glow from the rising sun?
Only to find once you arrive that the clouds aren’t where you wanted them to be.
Pretty inconsiderate of them, right?
Well rather that walk away thinking you’re not going to get the photo you wanted, this is a great time to mentally crop out that lack of “stuff.”
Here are two versions of a photograph I made along Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine.
In the original image the clouds were too far off shore towards the horizon, leaving too much empty sky near the top of the frame.
I wasn’t entirely happy with the way the above photo was going to turn out, but since I knew I was going to be cropping out most of that empty sky for the final image, I pressed the shutter and moved on.
Here is the final image.
(I also decided on B&W for the final image, but that’s a story for another time)
In the end, you still have to crop the photo in the computer, but think of how much post processing time you’ll save knowing exactly how you’re going to crop before you’ve even uploaded the photos to your computer.
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