Anatomy of a Photo I

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Here is a story of a photo that shouldn’t even exist. The entire Saturday afternoon was rainy and cloudy and nothing indicated that there will be any photo opportunities. However, with the approach of the evening, the rain stopped and the entire town was basked in a golden light which was simply irresistible so I decided to take the leap and go to a favorite location at a nearby lake.

Location Scouting

I had scouted the location previously using Google Maps and a great tool for every landscape photographer, PlanIt for Photographers. This is a nice little app that has everything you need to plan a photo. The only thing it can’t do is clear the clouds for you. And boy, there were clouds blocking the sun when I got to the lake. It was clear that the golden hour won’t be a golden as I hoped but this didn’t mean that I couldn’t do a short walk and get some photos in the meantime. First was a tree that seemed like a good subject. It would have been great to have the sunshine through its branches but in the end, I am happy with the photo after post-processing. The shot was taken at ISO 200, 18 mm focal length, f/8, shutter speed of 1/200. I also used a 3-stop graduated ND filter for the sky. You can see the before and after below.

Working With Conditions

The light was not getting better. To top this off, the location that I had chosen in Google Photos turned out to be a deep bog, which is not accessible even with the waterproof shoes I had with me. I kept strolling around the lake, enjoying the evening cool when I saw it. The location that I would use to take the best shot of the evening. The only problem was that it was already taken by a fisherman who would certainly not be happy to have a photographer clicking away and frightening his fish. So, I did the next best thing and included him in the photo. I set up my tripod, ISO 200, 18 mm, f/8, 1/100 sec shutter speed with a 3-stop graduated ND filter for the sky. Black and white was not really a question because coloring the photo would not have added anything to its meaning. And for telling a story, I prefer black and white anyway.