Sunday, September 14, 2014

As Good As It Gets

Some days Mother Nature presents you with unexpected gifts. This was one of those days. An early autumn snow and bitterly cold temperatures hit the Canadian Rockies, bringing great photographic conditions.

There was just enough snow to dust the tall evergreen trees and to define the ridges and valleys of the high peaks. The swirling clouds added the final dramatic touch.

With all the elements there, it was just a question of finding a good composition. The oblique angle of the near mountain became the main graphic element, punctuated by the pointed peak behind it, and balanced by the rounded mountain on the right side of the image. The vertical trees in the foreground added a touch of life and scale to the scene.

This image worked better as a black-and-white rather than color. Black-and-white allows the subtle tonalities to show, and provides a timeless look. It is reminiscent in some ways of images made by Ansel Adams and other masters of black-and-white. Not that I am in their league by any means, but it is a nice look to emulate when possible.

Stripping away the color allows you to see texture and detail more clearly. While color is great in many circumstances, when you remove color, a completely different image greets you. Your mind no longer has to process the color information and you can concentrate more fully on the shapes, tonal variations, sizes, and all the other elements that combine to make up the image.

Shutter Speed 1/500 sec.  Aperture f/14.  ISO 400.  Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS, set at 98mm.  Camera: Canon 5D Mark III.  Handheld.

TODAY’S QUOTE: “Black and white always looks modern."  --Karl Lagerfeld

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