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Tag Archives: panorama
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If someone else had taken this photo and showed it to me, then I might have been tempted to question its legitimacy. I can hear the voice in my head say, “that’s bull!@#$.” Was the sky shot some other time or place? Was it some how digitally created? At the very least are the colors overdone? I even feel a little disappointed in myself for having that reaction. I take a great deal of pride in the photography as well as the editing, but I typically want the photography to be recognized before the editing. At the very least, I want the editing to compliment, not dominate, the photography. So, it would be no surprise to me if some of you felt the way I did. This morning sky was amazing and I feel like I’ve captured it the way I experienced it, but still don’t believe it. Fortunately, there was a witness to this morning, excellent photographer and good friend, Travis Bechtel.
Over Thanksgiving weekend I drove to Badlands National Park with Travis to photograph and scout the park for a future 2011 workshop. In my last post I wrote about what landscape photographers go through to get an amazing shot. Of this 4 day trip, 2 days were spent driving, 2 spent shooting. Of the two days shooting, both sunsets were duds. One sunrise was ok and then there was Saturday morning. We arrived a full hour before sunrise, reading the sky in the dark for cloud cover, with color already starting to build, and build it did. We both were laughing and commenting that the color was so intense that our camera sensors couldn’t handle it. I remember at some point just giving up on trying to capture the moment and sat back to enjoy the show. That lasted about 7 seconds and I started shooting again. Its the kind of moment a landscape photog lives for and may be some sort of gift that one gets from putting in the time. I’ve decided to present several images from that morning, as well as some others from the trip. For example, BigBadlands.jpg and BigBadlands3.jpg are a combination of 3 panel panoramic photography with HDR photography. I hope you enjoy the images.
What does it mean to find your voice in an endeavor, be it artistic, business, personal? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.
Today’s images are of Christian and Diesel shot in the studio and I want to use them as a setting for some photography issues that have emerged lately. In a recent post/shoot, I used a white background and produced the images in a panoramic format, 2.5 to 1 ratio, to be exact. I was experimenting with space and subject, and white space in particular. This came out of a very important push from a high paid consultant to “find my own voice.” So, the Space post was about just that. Working with a portrait subject in a way that isolated an existence, attitude or energy into some simple elements.
This most recent shoot represents an evolution of sorts. After the Space post, my good friend Miriam (amazing painter and graphic designer) suggested I read a book titled, “Geometry of Design: Studies in proportion and design” by Kimberly Elam. The book is about the golden mean which many photographers understand and apply, but extends the idea of proportion in design much further than PHOTOGRAPHERS tend to consider these days. So, after going through the book I found that there was a proportion of design I felt drawn to: the panoramic in a 2.23 to 1 proportion. This is the square root of 5 and has stronger aesthetic qualities than the 2.5 to 1 ratio. Small evolution, but evolution nonetheless.
While photographing Christian and Diesel I asked Christian, “As a musician, have you found your voice yet?” He replied quickly (and I paraphrase here), “No. I’m always evolving as a musician.” It has me considering an number of the entrepreneurs I know. I don’t think any of them are known for just one thing, like a particular industry expertise. As I consider them, what occurs to me is that they honor their voice by moving forward, changing, adapting and creating. Its never about the singular idea; its seems more about the process that’s true to them. One of my biggest influences in photography, Jill Greenberg, is known for a look, but every time I visit her site she has a NEW idea she is working on and I can tell some get dropped and others move forward. She is constantly evolving.
Enough said. On to the images.
I just returned late last night from a long weekend in Death Valley National Park. For the next week or so I’ll be running a series of landscape images from DV and I’m working on a new video tutorial on the use of split neutral density filters.
I’m not a big fan of desert landscapes, but DV really made its way into my heart. It’s to be experienced for sure and hopefully these images will give you a small taste of it.
From a photographer’s perspective, 3 days in the park was simply a long scouting trip. I wasn’t sure I’d come back with 1 image to share and while I think I did, it was a great reminder of just how much work it takes to get great photography out of an unfamiliar place in a short period of time. DV is the largest park in the lower 48, making it very difficult to get to know. You watch the weather, you hike the trails, contemplating all the possible shots and under what conditions you’d like to shoot them. Then you move 30 miles down the road and do that again. And finally you have to pull the trigger, make a decision and drive another 30 miles because of something happening in the sky, the light. Then you get there and it evaporates and you find yourself muttering the same old cliche, “If it were easy everyone would be doing it.”
I also want to wish everyone a HAPPY HOLIDAY and hope you all enjoy your time with family and friends.
Technical: Zabriski Point, Canon 1Ds Mark II, 24-70mm, Singh Ray Blue/Gold polarizer, ISO800, tripod, composite of 4 frames, early twilight morning, aperture priority, varying shutter speed.