The Landing Pad

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Photography for me is often a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, in any given scene (no matter how crap it looks 🙂 ) there are a bunch of pieces ready to be assembled into some kind of coherent scene that is hopefully pleasing to the eye.

Now if were as simple as the average jigsaw puzzle where you can spread all the bits over the table and work out what goes where then it would be all too easy. Nature and scenes like this image mean you are constrained by where you can physically get to, where you can set your tripod up (without it falling and smashing everything 😉 – thats bad ) and finally the limitations on your gear, ie lens focal range etc.

There is one other point to make, unlike a jigsaw puzzle, real life scenes can have infinite number of solutions and consequently infinite final framings, I guess this is one of the driving factors for me and something which keeps me at photography, bit like golf 😉 . A whole bunch of people can go to the same spot with different gear and all come away with a different 'jigsaw' solution, some better than others (depending on your perspective).

This particular scene is buried down below Horseshoe Falls and is a great example, there is a bunch of really cool elements (rocks, falls, vegetation, ponds etc) which you can include in your scene/frame, but its how you assembly these items together which determines if the final image is alright and pleasing to the eye. I quite like this composition (at the moment anyway) and I took a long time moving around and adjusting the position slightly to get what I felt was the right combination of bits. I positioned the at big rock in front so that it dominated the scene (hence the landing pad title), the falls and flow of water down to the little pond in the foreground were positioned so it has that nice 'S' curve to lure the viewer up and flow thru the image, the little bit of brightness up the top was included to subtly pull the eyes up and away from the dominant rock in the foreground help them travel thru the image. The lines on the foreground rocks all lead in towards the centre of the image, again leaving that poor viewer with nothing but the option of getting drawn in 🙂

The image is created using three exposures, the over exposed and under exposed frames were only needed for a few small sections of the image (the top bright bit and the super dark areas (under the falls and rocks).

D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f18 and Shutter Speed: 5s (normal exp) 1/1.6s (under exp) 30s (over exp)
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL

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32 thoughts on “The Landing Pad

  1. Beautiful image! +Gerard Blacklock
    Your image was selected by Krzysztof Felczak for share with #artistphotographeramateurorprofessional +Artist , photographer , amateur or professional by
    +jany viala + Krzysztof Felczak +Chauvin Gene and +Dorma Wiggin
    ========================================
    Please Comment & +1 on the original post ! If you like this image you can also comment on this post and +1 for selection +A.P.A.P.Grand talent. Thank you! Krzysztof

  2. Splendid image +Gerard Blacklock and I really appreciate the details of how you set this shot up and what made you compose it the way you did. Looking at the settings you shared it is evident this was not a +/- EV most folks shoot for an HDR. It is evident you specifically chose three different exposures and ended up -3EV and +2.66EV from your normal exposure. Did you blend this as an HDR using HDR software or some other way? I love it when folks like you share details like this because we can learn from it. Thank you very much.

  3. Thankyou very much +Ronald Varley.
    When I bracket shots i mostly manually select the over and under exposed frames depending on the conditions, its a bit more time consuming than using the automatic bracketing in the camera, but i do like to have complete control 😉
    In this particular image the +2.66 EV was used since it was more than adequate to capture all the highlights and also if I went to a full 3 stops I would have had to use my manual shutter release to get past the 30 seconds limit on the camera.
    In terms of the blending, I rarely use a automated HDR program now, in this particular image I blended in +Adobe Photoshop by stacking the 3 images together then using simple masks with a large feathering to brush the shadows or highlights away. For these kind of scenes I find I can have a lot more control over the light and where it goes using layers and masks. I am sure are also other neat ways, like with luminosity masks etc.
    Always happy to talk about how images are created 🙂 thanks again +Ronald Varley

  4. I find that in knowing your photographer's mind shift (lol) is a great
    understanding of one's work!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR'S! To yours as well, Gerald!

    always be well, Mary….

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