Monday, October 3, 2016

Flying High

Landed in Iceland late last night to prepare for the upcoming "Iceland - Fire and Ice" photo tour. It was a short and pleasant flight from the east coast of the US. This is going to be a very exciting and exhilarating trip with dozens of waterfalls, glaciers, an ice beach, black sand beaches, Icelandic horses, and sweeping vistas of mountains and geothermal areas.

The tour officially begins on Saturday, and with a dozen motivated and excited photographers we will explore many areas of this beautiful country. In the meantime I am cruising around the city of Reykjavik and some of the surrounding countryside. Everyone I have met has been charming, easy-going, helpful, and very welcoming. This is a country of warm people who welcome tourists.

So why this photo? It is a kittiwake, a fairly common seagull-like bird native to northern climates. But this is not a literal bird photo. The color and the shapes make it more of an interpretive art piece rather than a basic shot of a bird. When photographing any subject anywhere, it is important to capture not only the scene or the object, but the essence of the subject as well. It is your interpretation of the subject that makes your work stand out. At the end of the day, we all want our images to be well-received, and the more artistic ones seem to have more impact and more interest.

So do the literal approaches, but then push yourself further and look for more creative, artistic views. With nature and wildlife subjects, it is usually best to not compromise the appearance of the subject too much. You generally want the subject to still be recognizable, but you also want to reveal its nuances and essence in unique and interesting ways.

1/1000 sec at f/8, ISO 800. 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens on Canon 7D Mark II body.  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."  --Andre Gide

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