Just wanted to write a quick post to my fellow photographers and readers about a something that I feel is often overlooked when photographing a subject – working the scene or paying attention to the details. Whenever I’m out capturing images, I try to take my time (much to my family members dismay as they can attest) moving around the area before even taking my camera out. I look at the scene and think about what really made me stop and look at it in the first place. Have I seen images of this already? If so, can I tell where they were standing, was it a wide angle or telephoto being used? What time of day was it? What was the weather? All of these thoughts help me determine where to position myself to get a different position on the same subject. Often I will look closely at the little things in the area and just focus on those. In this case, a 25′ waterfall can be really impressive even with a wide angle. I have seen dozens of images of this falls, but none that I could recall that focused on the details of the water and rocks. I decided to change my lens to a 24-120mm zoom and focus on these details. With a long exposure, I was able to accentuate the water flowing over the rocks and create a very peaceful feel. Because this image was largely a high contrast scene already, I decided to convert to Black and White to enhance the elements. Next time you are out shooting, don’t forget to slow down, survey the scene and focus on the details. Hope you enjoy and as always, thanks for visiting!
Planning trips to Ricketts Glen State Park is usually based on the weather forecasts for me. Of course it is – you say, but not for the reasons you are thinking. For me, I prefer to be there when a storm has just passed or there are chances of fog in the area. Being in the forest such as Ricketts Glen during a time like this takes you to a different world. Low clouds transform the area into something so mysterious. Not being able to see distances that you are accustomed too makes that mystery. You know something is out there, you just don’t know what it is. As the sun rises, the fog begins to break, sometimes shining through in pieces, giving you crepuscular light rays or as some people like to call them – “God Beams”. Whatever your preference, this is an amazing way to experience the forest. Capturing this mood in photography is actually pretty easy believe it or not. The lighting is mostly even, except for the area of bright light where the sun shines through. All you need to do is meter your scene without the sun or rays of light in your image, lock in the exposure, recompose and shoot. If you are nervous about missing the shot, bracket your exposure both over and under. Last spring, I had some luck with the weather predicting and traveled there when the conditions looked ripe for a foggy morning. This shot is standing at the top of the 92′ Ganoga Falls looking down. I am really looking forward to spring! More to follow….