Light! Camera! Composition!

Posted on November 13, 2010 by Tim 1 Comment

These last 2 shots were taken as we entered Waimea canyon. The light was harsh and hazy along the coast and I was lamenting the light. As we wound north I could see dramatic dark clouds looming up ahead. On my bitching, my wife asked, “when will the light be good?” Peering ahead I said, “in two miles”. Amazingly, just as we made the junction where the clouds were dark and puffy to where there was an abrupt transition to clear haze I saw this red volcanic clay soil and what looked like a moonscape. Some plants and dead trees along with this falling little stream seemed like an ideal place. My subjects before me were intermittently lit by strong light but the background showed dark gray clouds about to burst. I loved this light. I had everything given to me. My job was to find the composition. I tried. My biggest problem was that I needed a little bucket lift that could move me where I wanted. I was limited to where I could stand and move with my feet – which due to the topography limited me more. But I needed to be higher, a little left, a little right, a little where I couldn’t get. I got close but just couldn’t find a sweet spot. A better photographer could have really nailed this.

This is probably one of the stronger images I came away with from this location. I loved the conflict and contrast between the strongly lit branch and shadow with the dark storm clouds behind. But a dead branch is just too cliche for me. So I think is ok but could be better. Not really print worthy in my opinion. It was frustrating to be handed such wonderful lighting but not really able to pull off a shot. But that is what drives one to get better. Besides, the islands aren’t really gonna give me cool frogs or snakes and more importantly this was a real vacation. In other words, no stressing about photography. More about lazing around and relaxing. But good for future ideas.

If you have thoughts or ideas on this post or these images, I’d love to hear them.

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One comment

  • Marianne says:

    I went to Kauai back in 1998. When we visited Waimea Canyon initially it was covered with clouds and we couldn’t see a thing. An hour later the fog had blown out and it was beautiful. If we hadn’t waited around we would have missed it. We were just lucky we only had to wait an hour or so. The contrast with the cloudy sky and the sun shining on the red dirt reminds me of how it looked when we were there. I like the second picture with the sun breaking though the clouds onto the bright green mountains. I loved Kauai. I could live there. You don’t have to wear shoes! Even at the grocery store. I went everywhere barefoot. I hope you guys had a fabulous time!

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