Forcing a Photo
|A decent, but VERY processed shot|
**Disclaimer: Today's post is kind of long.**
Sunrise Over The Moeraki Boulders, Otago New Zealand by Todd Sisson
I really liked the colors, composition, clouds, and the dynamic look of it. It feels like the water is actually moving in the shot. So then I looked at the components of the shot; rocks, beach, water, and sunset. I have access to all of those, but I didn't want it to be a direct copy of the shot so I had something else in mind. I'd still use the aspects of this shot that caught my eye in the first place, and that are talked about in the article, but I'd make it mine. Except I didn't.
The very top shot is my first outing in trying to recreate this. There are a lot of things wrong with it, in my eyes. Mainly my eye isn't sure what to look at: the rock on the left that really has nothing going for it, the rock on the right which has some great light on it, the archway which looks to be background material, and then finally the water. The sky is the exact opposite of bright and colorful, looking dull and dirty instead. Color in general just isn't popping. The top shot is an HDR composite, because the reality of the situation looked like the shot below, and my old habit of fixing or saving a shot using HDR came back.
|Not very eye pleasing|
|The photographic equivalent of plastic surgery|
So I decided I'd scrap these shots and try again. This time I found a good time for high tide to come in so i could get closer to the arch without fear of my camera and tripod taking a dive. But sadly the clouds weren't cooperating with me. It was a flat, dull day; there was no way I was getting purples, reds, and oranges out of it. So I did what I should have done the first time out and evaluated what kind of shot would work with the environment I had. Color shots would work, but they would be so dull and boring it would make the shot dull and boring. I was considering calling it an early day when I thought that maybe black and white would work. I put on the my neutral density filter and set my camera to C1, which takes customized black and white JPEGs and color RAW files so I can get an idea for what a shot will look like in black and white.
|Un-edited, straight out of camera|
So, after all this what did I learn, and what can you learn? As a photographer who is still trying to figure out what my style is I find I'm very impressionable, and that is both good and bad. When I read up or see a style of photography I like I tend to go in a phase where I try to shoot everything in that style. I need to slow down and evaluate more. Take the photos in that style I'm into currently, but not to forget those styles I've used before that maybe I understand better.
My thanks to Todd Sisson for letting me borrow his photo here on the blog. Be sure to check him out over on Google+ and his website with just an amazing number of great shots of New Zealand.