Hi everyone and welcome to today’s post. I have just returned from assisting Alec Johnson on the North Shore of Lake Superior Workshop. What an incredible week with a fantastic group of photographers. It was hectic to say the least and none of us got much sleep as we chased the light in several beautiful locations. In my last post from the workshop I talked about the need for scouting a location. Very few photographers can come into a location cold and expect to come away with a quality image. It takes time to understand the intrinsic rhythms of a place necessary to making a photograph. In our workshop we focused on the concept of scouting. During the week we shot in three locations. For each location we did an afternoon scout then shot sunset followed by a sunrise shoot. During the afternoon scouting sessions we had each participant perform some basic exercises including digital sketching and a 10 Step/10 Shots routine. In each case we asked everyone to dispense with their tripods. We wanted them to explore untethered to the rigidity of a camera support. Exploring this way does several things. First it puts you in a shooting rhythm. The more you shoot the more you will see and the more you see the more you shoot. Second it allows you to move your camera in all directions and from different heights and angles. We gave everyone a sense of how the light would change over the course of the day and that they should use this information to consider and imagine the possibilities as they played with their compositions. This exercise was very successful for each of our photographers and everyone made inspiring images. And as you might guess the best work came on the second shooting session as each one began to unravel the intrinsic rhythms of the place. Alec will be posting some of these beautiful images over on his blog site at http://www.acjphotoblog.com/.
Today’s image was a direct result of a pre-workshop scout I did at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. The shot was made from Ellingson Island. The back side of the island is quite rocky and consists of a series of granite rock shelves that eventually meet the lake. The lower shelves contain pools and slick rock from the ebb and flow of the lake. From this vantage point, given the chance arrival of some great clouds, I pre-visualized a dramatic leading line pointing to the distant lighthouse. On the day the class shot here we had some beautiful clouds and the opportunity presented itself to achieve the shot I had envisioned. I wanted to emphasize the idea of motion into the shot to complement the leading line. To so this I needed to slow down the shutter speed to impart motion in the clouds and “liquify” the water. To do this I used a Lee 10 Stop “Big Stopper” Neutral Density Filter coupled with a Singh-Ray 3-Stop Hard Split Neutral Density. The final image consisted of three separate exposures of 1:00 minute, and 2:00 minutes, and 4:00 minutes and processed in Photomatix HDR Software. The file was blended using the Fusion engine. The exposure sets I used along with the filters created the motion effect in the clouds and gave the water an icy, flat look. Final finishing was performed in Abobe Photoshop.
Thank you for stopping by today.
Hozógo nasádo (Navajo): Walk in Beauty