Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alone in the Forest





I’m a photographer first,  that much is certain.  When I finished processing this picture I then starting writing this blog.  From the start I was not even sure I would end up with a picture worth sharing, yet as soon as I finished processing the picture I knew what I wanted to say.  As photographers I think we strive to tell a story with our images.  Some images immediately tell a story but those are usually rare and infrequent, and  I would suggest these image are also quite powerful.  It is what we strive to do and most of the time fail to achieve.  

The story is not quite obvious with other images.   In this case the story I’m telling is a stop along my journey as a night photographer.   While I’m pretty happy with my skill set when it comes to taking images at night,  I’m always looking to improve or take my pictures to the next level.  On this night I was using a new light and obtaining a good white balance with this light is was turning out to be quite a challenge.  The benefit of this light is that it will run for an hour with a single charge, something my other high power lights will not do.  But the tradeoff is a very cold light (in terms of color temperature).   

Recently I have been integrating light orbs into some of my night and UrbanEx photography.  There are some who have decided to spend their entire photographic pursuit just shooting these orbs.  Well not me!  I like them, but I will be the first to tell you that I don’t think they are the pinnacle of night photography.   I view them as another technique and not at all essential.  Perhaps this take it or leave it attitude will prevent me from achieving greatness with the orbs but I can live with that. 

As with much night photography you need to pre-visualize the scene.   I originally thought I would shoot the scene vertically and I did, but you will never see that photo because it just did not work.  Luckily I also shot the scene horizontally and I think this works a bit better.    Without the orb this is just a tree lined road and not sufficient to make an interesting picture.  I think the orb adds another dimension to the shot and in this case makes it complete.   Photography is a  journey and you need to work through shots like this in order to work toward the next level. 

In the photo above I was in the Rapidan Wildlife Management area of Shenandoah National Park.  I’m several miles from the nearest real road without cell phone service and thus “Alone in the Forest”.


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