Wednesday, March 1, 2023

February Image of the Month

Long time readers know I have a system for rating my photos. It's imperfect, subject to revision, idiosyncratic, and highly subjective, but better than nothing. To sum up, for personal photos (as opposed to ones taken for the community association, or a client) 3 stars means I've edited it, 4 stars means it's quite a bit better than average, and 5 stars means I said wow!

In all of 2022 I had only 16 five star photos, and of those 11 happened during the Yukon trip in September. That wasn't my talent, such as it is, it was the amazing scenery. I've come to accept that my really good photos happen in a bunch. Thus it is so with last month. Three of the photos ended up with 5 stars, and they are featured below.

That was the easy part, knowing which 3. The order, however, was a dither.

First Runner Up
This was a struggle to capture because the edges of the rock are really sharp and I wanted to get low. At first I didn't think much of it, and edited it almost as a oh what the heck. But then there was a quiet wow as the sky, water, and rock detail came in, plus the gentle light on the green of the tree.

Second Runner Up
I told the story about the canyon here

Image of the Month
I've wanted to do more long exposures for a while, but they're hard to get right. There has to be an element that moves. This is normally water or clouds. There has to be an element that doesn't move, which can be almost anything. Then there's tweaking the settings, which typically means trial and error. 

So I got excited when I saw the waves coming and going between the rocks. I wandered between them for a while looking for composition, stepping from rock to rock because there was usually some water in between. Eventually I found this, parked my camera bag on top of the big rock, ever so carefully got the ND filter on, and started trial settings. After a few tries, I knew that 10 seconds gave a nice image. Rather than trying to time the waves, I just let the camera run, taking exposure after exposure. There were several others I quite liked, and I'll blog them soon.

I ended up perching on the rock with the camera bag as the tide was coming in.  I'd hoped to be able to replicate the settings and get some long exposure on film, but no. The tide was coming in quicker than expected, and I didn't want to get stranded. Even so, I got my feet wet before getting back to the beach itself.

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