The Weekly Photo – January 17, 2011
It has been crazy cold and windy in southern Alberta but I ventured out to make some images in the dreary grey light (remember, “there is no such thing as bad light“). I found a cool snowdrift (at -30 degrees Celsius!) and decided to make a few photos. I used my Rebel T2i and my Sigma 17-50 f2.8 lens to make all the images. The photo below is the overall scene from the road:
The photo is OK, but it lacks compositional refinement. I decided I needed to get tighter and make a more graphic representation of the snow drift and the fence and so recomposed to this scene:
The image above is more graphic but now that little piece of grass is a distraction rather than an addition to the image. I wondered what the photo would look like with the grass cloned out. As well, I wanted to show more texture in the snow and so used ‘tonal contrast’ in Nik Color Efex to bring out more detail in the image. I also converted the image to black-n-white with a blue tone in Nik Silver Efex Pro. The result of all of this post-processing is below:
Although I like the photo above, it does not show the story of that little grass head below the big snow drift and for me that little grass is an important component. I decided I needed to get tighter to show the grass in context with the drifting snow, so I got close and low and made this image:
I like the photo above but wondered if I could do better in terms of pure graphic representation. I really liked the undulating line of the snow drift in contrast with the diagonal dark line of the little grass and so composed a tight frame that was all about line and graphics. The final photo that I like best is this one:
In the end, the moral is to really work the scene (even when your face is frozen to the camera and your fingers have fallen off!). Don’t give up with the first composition you make!