#LPTG13WK35, 52 week challenge, 52 week photography project, background, beach, Benro A298M8 Tripod, Benro Tripod, Black Rock, camera, camera controls, Camera Mode, cloudy, Color, D7000, D7000 Blog, D7000 HDR, Digital Camera, Digital Photography, distance, distortion, DSLR Modes, dynamic, explore, family, far, focusing, foreground, Great Salt Lake, Great Salt Lake HDR, GSL, Handheld HDR, HDR, HDR Landscape, Landscape, Layering, Learning D7000 controls.Camera Controls, LenProToGo.com, lens, LensProToGo.com 52 week challenge, low perspective, LPTG, LPTG 52 challenge, LPTG week 35, LPTG.com 52 week Challenge, LPTG52, middle, Mud, muddy, mudflat, Nature HDR, New D7000 user, new DSLR, Nikon, Nikon Blog, Nikon D7000, Nikon D7000 Benro Tripod, Nikon D7000 Controls, Nikon D7000 From Snapshots to great shots, Nikon HDR, outing, photo tips, Photography, Photomatix, Photoshop, salty, Scenic, Sigma 10-20mm, State Park, Still Life, Sunset, Theme: Sunset, Using a Nikon D7000, UT, Utah, utah HDR, view, week 35 of 52, Wide angle
Jumping back into sharing my entries for LensProToGo.com’s 52 week challenge, this weeks theme was “Sunset”
I ran out to the south edge of the Great Salt Lake very close to the Marina (my images of the Marina from an earlier post) to a place called “Black Rock” a monolithic plateau of rock that juts out into the Great Salt Lake and when the water is low becomes surrounded by beach and mudflats that you can freely explore. The sunset was shaping up nicely with lots of dynamic clouds and the promise of an explosion of color. Ah clouds! When in the right place they make a sunset turn magical, when they’re in the wrong place however they can be it’s greatest enemy and today I was battling the enemy as the clouds that had promised an explosion of color now covered the Sun shutting down the magic just before it could really start. I grabbed a quick shot as soon as I was out of the car just in case and it’s a good thing I did as it’s the one I ended up using as the light only got worse…
Anyone who has spent at least a few nights in Utah knows that we have amazing sunsets here, but having amazing sunsets doesn’t mean that you’ll have an amazing sunset picture.
What could I possibly mean by that? If it’s a beautiful sunset what could possibly make it difficult to photograph? Let me ask you this, how many shots have you taken of grand sweeping views that take your breath away in person, but when you view them on your computer screen at home that feeling of wonder and majesty is just gone, now it’s flat, uninspiring, maybe even boring? Remember a picture is a 2D representation of a 3D scene, clouds and foreground don’t stick out of the screen or print to sweep overhead in colorful grandeur or sit poised to trip your feet if you would take a step forward. Instead of that layered depth we see in person of foreground, middle and far, a picture literally flattens everything to one paper thin depth.
This is where using light, shadow and perspective help to trick our eyes into interpreting these 2d images into something that is closer to what we would see if we had been standing there in person.
Setting the camera low and close to a foreground element while using a wide angle lens will help distort the image enough that now objects start to look differently enough that your brain is forced into making them look like they are at different distances. Clouds begin to seem to sweep up and overhead and to recede into the distance. Try it the next time you find yourself taking a picture of an awe inspiring scene, find a close foreground element (a rock, bush, flower, or gnarled tree etc) to fill some space at the bottom or side of your frame and see how that helps expand the depth of the scene.
Walking onto the mudflats I found some driftwood to play with that might demonstrate the point.
One last example of layering your shot.