Winters Day, Arrowtown, New Zealand

Low lying tree branches frame the Arrow River on a winter's day in Arrowtown, New Zealand.

Now this is what the life of the travel photographer should be like. Good food, gentle light, a pleasant stroll and a lovely, tree lined creek. Oh, did I mention the food.

I made this image after a lovely, inexpensive meal sitting out the front of a Thai restaurant in Arrowtown on the South Island of New Zealand. After a quick walk up the main street and a short drive around town I found a walking track by the Arrow River which I followed up as far as a footbridge which crossed over to the other side. It was great fun and I made numerous photos that afternoon.

Making the photo Winters Day, Arrowtown, New Zealand

I made this image with my Nikon D800e camera and Nikon 14-24 mm f2.8 lens at 18 mm focal length with the aperture at f/8 and the camera set to ISO 100. It's a HDR composite compromising of 7 exposures, made at one-stop increments, with the darkest in the series at 1/80 second.

The separate images were combined into a single composite image in Photoshop. Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 was employed to render the image into black and white.

The Problem

While seemingly simple the above image contains a number of fairly complex elements. There's grass, water and trees and, in the original color version of the image, I felt that these separate elements were competing for attention in an overly busy scene. I had to simplify things.

The Solution

To make for a simpler image I opted for a black and white rendering and positioned myself in such a way to emphasize the repetition of the over hanging branches and the three dimensional aspects of the scene. Or course the black and white rendering also highlights the wonderful textural qualities of the image.

I think you'll agree this relatively simple approach has made a potentially overly complicated scene into a quieter and more successful image. I hope you like it.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru