Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Misty Mountains

The Tetons are absolutely beautiful mountains, and they have been photographed hundreds of thousands of times if not more. It is always tempting to photograph an iconic landscape the same way we have seen it represented in some of the world's most famous photographs. And when traveling to special places, those are the kinds of pictures you should definitely capture.

But in addition, you should try for something a little different. A different angle, an unusual lens choice, something that stretches your imagination and your creativity, or something that creates a mood or a feeling and is not about a literal representation of the scene.

While this is not an unusual view, it is a slightly different approach. On this afternoon, the sky had fabulous clouds and there was a bit of mist in the air. Since the trees in the foreground were closer to the camera, they do not appear misty, but the mountains behind them do. I could have optimized this image in post-processing to cut through some of the mist, but I chose not to. I also could have increased detail in the silhouetted trees.

But this image is not about how the Tetons SHOULD look, or how shadowed trees should have more detail. It is about mood. The dramatic clouds, the misty mountains, and the silhouetted trees all work together to create a sense of how it FELT to be there, not exactly how it looked. 

So the next time you are presented with a world class scene, by all means get the expected shots, but also go for the unexpected, the creative, the moody.

Shutter Speed 1/1250 sec.  Aperture f/11.  ISO 400.  Lens: Canon 17-40mm f/4L, set at 26mm.  Camera: Canon 5D Mark III.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Great things are done when men and mountains meet."  --William Blake

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