Hi everyone and welcome to today’s post. This is another shot from my recent trip to Big Bend National. This image was taken from the Rio Grande Overlook and is a view looking south into Mexico. This is not the classic view from this point and I resisted the urge to shoot that shot. I choose instead to move away from my group in search of other vistas. When I found this composition I was struck by the sweeping curves in the river as it flowed past the rocky palisades. From my lofty perch I could see far and away into Mexico. I find edges very interesting both compositionally and intrinsically. Here we have the edges of two countries separated only by a thin ribbon of river. So close and yet so far away. At the time it was a landscape I could only gaze upon as I was not allowed to cross the river.
There are several interesting and powerful compositional concepts found in this image. The first and most prominent is the leading line formed by the river. It is far and away the most powerful element. The rivers shape and form leads the eye into the frame and moves it deeper into the landscape. It is also the lightest element in tone and contrast and is framed on each side by the darker land forms. The eye will always be drawn to the light in a photograph and this occurs in the upper one-third of the shot.
There are also repeating shapes within the the image. The foreground rocks, the palisades at the turn of the river, the far cliffs, and even the light colored tones in the background are repeating elements in the shot that add visual interest. They also form a secondary leading line that runs diagonally in contrast to the sinuous curve of the river. The combination of these two singular lines makes for a dynamic image full of visual interest.
The image was shot in split-light. Split-light is where there is a defined edge between light and shadow. Split-light is easy to recognize but can be hard to handle with exposure. this is especially true since I shot this image in three focus brackets to combine in Helicon Focus. To this end I could not shoot exposure brackets to combine or blend. To handle the exposure I used a Singh-Ray 3-stop, hard edge, Split Neutral Density Filter to compensate for the dynamic range of light in the image. The focus brackets were made of the foreground. mid-ground, and background and then combined in Helicon Focus to create one image. This was taken into Photoshop for final finishing and conversion to Black and White.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Hozógo nasádo (Navajo): Walk in Beauty