Pic of the Week_Textures_Tidal River_Wilsons Promontory

Canon 1D Mark II camera and Canon 100mm f2.8 lens. Exposure Details: 1/125 second @ f7.1 ISO 100

The above image was made at Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory National Park on the southern tip of Victoria, Australia. It is a beautiful location that offers a range of photographic opportunities that vary with light and tide.

As you can see the colors present in this scene, really only a detail of the much larger Tidal River landscape, is full of color and texture. While wonderful to behold the challenge for the photographer is to make sense of all this information. A painter can choose to delete one or more of the elements on the canvas, while a photographer’s ability to include or exclude trees, rocks, water and grass is greatly reduced.

You can change focal lengths and, thereby, the angle of view encompassed by your composition. Moving closer or further away is another option, as is changing your shooting position (e.g. worms eye or birds eye angle of view) to alter the apparent relationship between elements in the frame and the relationship between foreground, mid ground and background.

A key problem faced by photographers is the need to deal with what is actually in front of the camera and, excluding a range of exotic desktop solutions and make overs, the best solution is often image design.

Canon 1D Mark II camera and Canon 100mm f2.8 lens. Exposure Details: 1/125 second @ f7.1 ISO 100

While color was probably the element that drew me into this scene, I find it gets in the way of what, in this case, are more important design elements. It is the tones, textures, lines and shapes within the frame that are the real subject matter of this photograph. A black-and-white, split toned rendering was required to quiet down and simplify the image and, thereby, emphasize its most important elements.

I hope you agree that, through the conversion to black-and-white the resulting photograph is a quieter, more subtle and, ultimately, more beautiful rendering of the scene. I’d be very interested in your comments.

The original color image was processed in Adobe Lightroom 2, while the black-and-white, split toned version was achieved in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography
Glenn Guy