This scene was found while diving down a long desert road in New Mexico I believe. Under the trees were a few cows taking shelter from the sun and my favorite detail which is harder to see on this smaller version are a bunch of little white wind power generators along the horizon. It’s interesting how it feels as though the horizon is at a slope but its simply the subtle hills in the landscape giving that illusion.
Also something I thought would be interesting to mention is the vignetting on this photo and others of mine. Contrary to the beliefs and methods of many professional photographers (and my own good sense), I often shoot wide open at f/1.4 on a bright sunny day. Not only am I using a user modified setting on my 5D to trick it into shooting at ISO50 but the poor camera is often forced to shoot at its maximum shutter speed as well in an attempt to not blow out my highlights so heavily it ruins the photo. Not to mention the implications of shooting a landscape at wide apertures. It just goes against the grain of everything that is technically right when taking photographs of a landscape in the light of the afternoon sun which often dictate you use smaller apertures and slower shutter speeds.
So why do I do this? Because it’s what causes the image to have this soft, over saturated and contrasty feel with a heavy vignetting along the edges. Many photographers would look at this photo and dismiss it for it’s lack of technical perfection but as it stands today, in a world full of millions of perfect photographs, this kind of a look can end up holding something beyond what may be expected from a photo like this. It’s just that I am fully aware of the complications and technical imperfections caused by shooting a way that a teacher may warn you against yet I choose to force my camera to misbehave in order to achieve these results.
I am not at all suggesting you, as a photographer, think that a complete disregard for the technical rules and compromises within this medium is an okay thing to accept. I am not saying to trash the rulebook and go off shooting backwards from what you are taught. What I suggest is that you be completely aware of WHY every photo looks the way it does. It is vital that you understand the difference varying stops (intensities) of light can make when looking at a scene and to understand and be able to recognize the difference a few steps up or down would make. Never use your computer and post processing as a crutch to get you out of lazy habits when shooting. Trust me, if you can give yourself this kind of insight into how to capture images well on your camera you will be light years ahead of 90 percent of the photographers out there.
I have a lot of fun and exciting ideas to introduce in the coming few months as I work on pushing fiftyfootshadows.net in new directions. Much of it involves techniques and spreading the love of photography and keeping it’s essence alive in this cold digital world. ;) I very much am looking forward to showing everyone what I have been working on for so long and hopefully it will be worth the wait come January when things start to fall into place.