Saturday, December 28, 2013

Evolution of a Composition

I haven't been out shooting much lately.  Winter in East Tennessee does not provide many opportunities for beautiful landscapes.  The colors are grey or muted brown.   It does not snow often and when it does I'm usually at work. 

Today was different.  I checked the weather forecast last night and saw that they were calling for 30% cloud cover at dawn.   You have to have some clouds to get a good colorful sunrise, but not so much that the sky becomes overcast.  Thirty percent sounded pretty good to me so I set the alarm. 

It was worth it!  Here's what June and I witnessed this morning.

Pretty special, huh?  

Afterwards we drove around a bit looking for other opportunities and found ourselves at the shore of Patrick Henry Lake.  I was hoping the sunrise would light up the fog on the lake but it didn't happen.  At June's suggestion I shot this.

I always listen to June's suggestions.   My photography is better when she is with me. 

The photo above is cropped and a little tone adjustments were added.    The colors are too blah but the contrast between the bare trees on the left and the fog is interesting.   When there is little color but interesting contrasts it's a good idea to convert to black and white and see how it comes out.

I think this is more interesting than the color version, but the real interesting part of this shot is the branch sticking out of the fog on the left side.   This was shot at 200mm.  I really needed to zoom in closer to isolate that section.  I could have gotten my 300 and 1.4 teleconverter to more than double to focal length but I was too lazy to walk back to the car. 

I decided to crop the photo to isolate what I thought was the interesting part.  The problem is this reduced my 21 megapixel original down to a 1.9 megapixel photo.  OK for a small version on facebook, but too small for anything else. 

I got a copy of Perfect Resize for Christmas.  Using that software I was able to enlarge it back to 16 megapixels, more than big enough for most anything I want to do with it.

This composition evolved from the original as shot, to a wide crop, to a black and white, to an extreme crop black and white.   I like the last one, but each one is different and conveys a different mood.

This has been a pretty good day for shooting.

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