Analysing My Photographic Journey 1 – Kaikoura

Mountain View

Details: Taken Oct 7 2007 with my Canon S3IS Camera, JPG image file.

Composition Notes: I was trying to express the scale and grandeur of the mountains, they come right up to the edge of the coast, with only a sliver of land between them and the sea. Using the people walking, it gives a good sense of scale

Technical Notes: The S3IS is a point and shoot bridge camera ie it has only one lens. Therefore I was limited to how wide it would go, which is the reason for it chopping off the tops of the peaks. Also taken in morning sunlight, slightly overexposed, and this was before I knew anything about image processing and editing.

General Notes: This is a ‘memory’ image, IE one I associate a particular memory with, so it has a special meaning for me. Looking at it now, I see everything that is wrong with it, but I still like it because its one of my first real attempts at properly composing a photographic image.

Whats Wrong With It?

Its very overexposed, and a completely unprocessed JPG file. Too heavily cropped on the bottom with the aim of removing distraction. Camera is unable to counteract the sea haze. Camera lens is not quite wide enough to get the peaks of the mountains in shot.

What I would do differently now?

My current kit includes a 17-55MM lens, so I have the flexibility to shoot much wider, and capture the tops of the mountains. From memory I cropped the bottom heavily as it was very messy. Now I would have spent more time walking around, composing the shot better, although the people walking through it were pure luck.

I would probably put a polarising filter on, or crank the exposure down a little when shooting or processing to give it more punch. Also I whould have aimed to get up earlier in the morning (a lot earlier and gone to South Bay for the sunrise).

Could I do better now? Taking the random walkers out of the image, yes I could compose and take a better quality of image now. Does the image as it stands work? Yes I think it gives a sense of what I was trying to show, not as elegantly as I might like, but its an attempt at a properly composed image, not just a snapshot.

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About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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8 Responses to Analysing My Photographic Journey 1 – Kaikoura

  1. I get what you’re trying for here but I think there is just too much in the frame – too, the bulk of the mountain backdrop nearly disappears in the haze, sometimes a good design element, but in this case it’s almost creating negative space. Last, you can see the sea but we can’t so it’s difficult to visually conclude just what the two people are walking on. Beach was not the first thing that came to mine; more like ridge-line. Almost all these issues would have been minimized in different lighting so your early morning plan combined with a wider angle capture might solve the puzzle. The dynamic range here is pretty much 1:1.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Good points about the scale and lack of reference, I will keep those in mind for the future. I am begining to think I need to go back and reshoot these for a full and proper comparison 🙂

    • lensaddiction says:

      BTW I meant to ask what you meant by the dynamic range being 1:1

      • It essentially means that things are either black or white (or red and blue, or whatever) with no contrast to provide any depth. Technically dynamic range is the number of color color variations the camera’s lens can detect. It’s not how many your eyes can detect. When you’re shooting at the height of the sun in the afternoon you’re limiting the dynamic range. Things will be very flat and harsh.

  2. Tara says:

    have you tried processing it in black and white?

    • lensaddiction says:

      No I haven’t, its a thought. Have barely dipped my toe in the B&W pool 🙂 Im not sure, given Richards comments that its likely to have an overall improvement, but I appreciate the thought

  3. Bronny says:

    Isn’t it great, going back over “Old photos” and seeing what we would do differently. Its amazing how quickly we grow 🙂

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