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Light and Color

Roots, Lake Lowell

With photography, it’s all about the light. So many times, new students want to go out when there is a lot of light (mid-day) instead of waiting until there is great light quality. When the light is right, nearly anything looks great. My favorite time to photograph is from about 1 hour before sunset until 30 minutes after sunset. There is not much light after the sun goes down, but the quality of the light that there is is wonderful. A tripod is a necessity, but so worth it.

This image was made in complete shade just prior to the sun setting. The light falling on the root system is from the north, so it is open sky, thus enhancing the blue tones that were already in the tree roots. I have never seen roots with the color that this root system had, so I wanted to enhance it even more. The blue light from the open sky did just that. Another advantage of evening light is that it is very soft, meaning that the shadows will be very open and full of detail, something that is impossible with mid-day sun. It allows for very dramatic reproduction of ordinary scenes, rendering them very extraordinary.

More images can be viewed at MoffettGallery.com.

Architecture

Rexburg Temple

On a trip to Eastern Idaho, I stopped in Rexburg tor a visit some friends, who ended up not being at home. this turned out to be a good thing, as I had a chance to photograph in an area I had not had the chance before. The whole story I mentioned in an earlier post that you can find here. This image is the one I was capturing when I noticed the clouds moving in the other direction.

When shooting architecture, I always look for interesting angles. In this case, I had shot the standard “whole building” shot, and wasn’t at all happy. It looked like something anyone could and would do. I started looking at what made this temple different. It is narrower and taller than most, so I tried to emphasize those characteristics. I came in close, selected a wide angle lens, made sure to compose with the foliage in the foreground to act as a natural frame and then waited for the clouds to move to a desirable location. The resulting image is both pleasing and different. I then turned and headed across the street to photograph the clouds rolling in.

More images can be seen at MoffettGallery.com.

It’s all in the eyes

Simple Life

I’m going to break from the landscape images I have been showcasing lately, and post something completely different today. I was looking back through my files the other day and came across this image that I made when testing a new camera a while back. I know, this is just a snapshot of my daughter when she was 2, but there are some good things that we can learn from it. What is it that makes photographs of people, whether it be a formal portrait or just a snapshot, stand out from the rest? Lighting? Background? Cropping? … All of these are very important, however one thing, in my opinion, that we must watch for is the eyes. If the “eyes are smiling” and they are well lit, then they will overshadow some of the other flaws of the image. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and by having them well lit and looking good, we, the viewers, are drawn in to the image.

Foggy evening on the coast

Foggy Evening

Evening light is wonderful! Once the sun sets, you are left with light only from the blue sky, which can be incredible. This particular evening the fog was hanging over the ocean and the blue afterlight left the rocks enshrouded in mystery. It was a wonderful feeling. Completely engulfed in the feeling, I made my best attempt to capture the mystery in this image. I hope you feel the same feeling I felt when I was there.

Waterfall

The Falls

In the Spring, when the runoff is at its peak, a trip to Shoshone Falls is a must. While descending to the falls, I noticed this small waterfall off to the side. Thousands of people were down at the main falls, so I stopped here for a few minutes to photograph in solitude. After a creating few images of the whole falls, top to bottom, I just wasn’t happy with where it was going. I stopped and thought about what was really drawing me in, and it was just the base of the falls, the flowing water and the mist. I focused my vision to that, and this is what I came up with. I love the interaction of the water with the rocks. Strong, sharp solid rock and smooth flowing water in the evening light. Life just doesn’t get much better.