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Great Asiulus 2011-07-05 13:49

The light is great, but it seems also tricky. You have greatly captured both shadows and highlights (any tips, please?). TFS. As to composition - it's fine, but I've got a feeling that moving your camera slightly to the left(if that was possible without getting something unnecessary in the frame), it would be even better.

Old 07-05-2011, 11:05 PM
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InasiaJones InasiaJones is offline
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Default To Asiulus: The left side

Hello Joanna,

First, I would like to thank you for your visit and generous comments.

Now, to offer you some kind of answers to your questions;

1.- Namibian sunsets are truly unique. A quick research on Google by typing "Quiver Tree Sunset" will show you a series of images where the light is outstanding. It is also one of the best place in the world to see the Milky Way with your naked eye, a spectacular demonstration of nature's wonders that I have never seen before.

So I don't know how to explain the splendid Namibian light, maybe because of the absence of pollution, but before the sunset, there is an overall glow that brings an aura on every elements around.

In this case, there was an ambient light providing a soft general hue, plus a radiance coming from the sun below the horizon. This moment never stays for long and this fine balance is ephemeral. Only a long exposure allows to capture it, and although the technical specifications shows 30 seconds, it's actually 50 seconds, but the way TrekEarth data are programmed doesn't allow to select a longer time of exposure.

So this is why the colours you can see here aren't exactly the same as your eyes can perceive, because long exposure accumulate lit sources while the darker elements don't diffuse as much.

I also combined three different exposures, one for the sky, one for the elements in the foreground and one for the moon.

By doing so, I captured more details in the foreground with a longer exposure - mostly the grass close to the camera - than a shorter one for the sky and trees to avoid overexposed zones, then a shorter one to catch the details in the moon, as otherwise, it would have been a glowing white ball.

2.- Concerning the composition, I was there before the sun was about to set and I had all the time I needed to select carefully the way I wanted to frame this scene. The way you see the trees, and like other comments mention it, you think that the trees are aligned, but they aren't at all. Only my position gives you this impression.

Now if I would have moved to the left like you are suggesting, I would have broken the diagonal line that your eye perceives from the top of the trees and also the balanced distance between them, because the tree in the middle isn't placed at a regular interval and isn't in the same direct line. The slightest move and what I consider "harmonious alignment" would have become a random group of trees.

Now, you might feel that this image would have gain by being "mathematically" framed, with equal distance between trees and the frame, but I think that in photography, balance and harmony are more optical than mathematical. It's all a matter of personal choice and perception of space, but when everything is divided too equally, there is an absence of visual tension, so important in photography (and in painting).

I consider myself very lucky to have this funky winding bush in the foreground, allowing space to breath while providing an unusual element that doesn't steals the show, but fills up the space discreetly like a delicate natural lace, adding a sense of wilderness.

Now, I only took few minutes to share with you the way I have approached this composition, but by no means I feel that it is the only way to do it. You could have been there yourself and decide to create something completely different, as every given scene inspires us in a personal way.

Maybe you would have framed a single tree instead, maybe you would have oriented your camera on the other side to catch frontal light on trees, or like many others, you might have found this place very boring; there was about 8 or 10 photographers that were shooting around earlier, and they were all gone before the sunset, obviously uninspired, which is also an option that I respect.

Photography is a discipline where you constantly learned new things, it's a never ending process and what feels right one day, isn't the next one.

So maybe I should have moved to the left...

Thanks for your constructive proposition and comments.


Last edited by InasiaJones; 07-05-2011 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:46 PM
Asiulus Asiulus is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 363

Hi André
I'd like to offer my apology, because such a detailled answer shouldn't wait so long without reply. However, I was off-TE for quite a long time. Thank you very much for your time and effort to write really interesting post.
On the second thought, I think you're right about the framing.
I admire your expertise, patience and caring for small things that contribute to the final effect. I with I were more systematic and hard-working where photography is concerned, instead just being emotional and trying to capture what I see here and now ;-)
Thanks again, I'll be back to see your new pictures,
best regards
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