An Ochre Sea Star and Anemones
When I was in BC I found tidepools pretty difficult to shoot. There’s such a variety of colors and textures that it’s easy for everything to look messy. The way I tend to deal with scenes like this is to get closer and crop out distracting elements until the subject is where I want it, and it stands out against whatever background I’ve chosen. Sometimes shallow depth of field can help too, although this was occasionally tricky to use because as soon as I wasn’t shooting straight down I had to deal with reflections on the surface of the water as well.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been looking at photos for so long, but I tend to prefer abstracted photos. They often keep my attention longer.
They add another layer to the meaning of the photo. It’s no longer just the subject, but the subject being affected by or interacting with something. Abstracting can change a normal scene into lines and shapes and colors that interact in a way we wouldn’t normally expect. It takes an expected scene and turns it into a beautiful little mystery.
This is a ochre sea star and an anemone on Vancouver Island. The tide was coming in, and every once in a while a wave would make its way into this tidepool and disturb the water. It caught my eye, and I like the version with ripples a lot more than the one taken with placid water.
Just finished teaching another “Mastering Your SLR” class yesterday and it went great! I’m always nervous leading up to a class, love the teaching it as it’s happening, and completely crash, drained of all energy, afterwards. After a four hour nap right after class, a huge supper, and then a full night’s sleep I’m pretty much back to normal. I’m sure most of the students are pretty drained too – it’s a full day of working your brain pretty hard. But students of all levels are leaving the class pretty excited about the new-found abilities and choices they have when creating their photos. It’s fun to see their process of discovery, and it inspires me too.
Now for the composition class on Wednesday (there’s still space!), and then I get a little break from teaching until we set up the next classes in a month or so.
The photo is from Blackfoot Lake Rec Area this past fall.
14mm, f4, 1/80 of a second
I got to spend a couple days camping at Davis Lake with a good friend. One morning we woke up in this great thick fog. It was totally silent except for the condensation dripping from the trees onto the fallen maple leaves on the forest floor. Didn’t make for easy campfires, but camping challenges build character.
I just got back from hiking around the BC coast for a couple weeks and I’m just starting to go through the images. Since I haven’t shared anything for a while I thought I’d put something up before I’m even done looking at everything. This is from Skookumchuck Narrows on the Sunshine Coast where the tide creates pretty wild rapids once or twice a day. I seem to keep coming back to pictures of flowing water. There’s something about the constant movement within a pattern and the play of light across and through the water that gets me every time.
Anyway, tons of editing to be done, and tons of other work as well. I’ll try to keep some new photos flowing up here though…
OK, I just had to show you these, and I have questions. Not exactly a spectacular photo until you notice the colors in the waterfall. I haven’t changed the colors at all, this is what I saw as the sun rose over the ridge. Not sure if the color change is from the sun rising or from a slightly different angle on my part. I was climbing as the color changed, but these are only a few minutes apart. They lost all color shortly after. I’ve seen rainbows in waterfall mist before, but never the waterfall itself. Maybe someone with a optics or physics background out there could tell me how this occurs. Do I have to be this far away for the whole waterfall to change color? If I was closer would the rainbow just be a stripe across the waterfall (which is much more common)? Is it just the angle created by the sun, waterfall and me?
300mm, f11, 1/640 of a second
This summer’s been busy and fall is getting even busier. Eventually you might start to see other types of photos besides my usual nature stuff pop up on this blog. But nature is always going to be my refuge — the place to renew my mind and spirit. And I find interpreting it through photography to be both peaceful and exciting at the same time.
Last week I managed to get away to Jasper for a day and a night. I got back from my first hike well after dark, and instead of heading straight to a campsite, I decided to go to Athabasca Falls. After midnight on a moonless night might be the one time (besides winter) when you get to be alone to see this spectacle. I don’t really have the proper gear to be doing astrophotography, but it was fun anyway. The foreground was briefly painted in with my headlamp.
19mm, f4, 20 seconds
On my latest trip to the Rockies, Eric and I found some pretty great ice. This is where we found it — under snow.
Ice may not have the same movement as water, but it still causes the light to dance.
A couple weeks ago I posted a shot of icicles forming against the sky – it was a pretty high key shot (composed mostly of light tones). This last week I went back to the same place and caught the same scene from a different angle with very different lighting. Instead of the icicles being backlit by a bright sky, they were front-lit with a dark overhang behind them. With this contrast in lighting it was fairly easy to get lots of detail in the ice while completely getting rid of the small amount of ambient light behind the waterfall.
300mm, f5.6, 1/800 of a second
A very small ice formation I found along the Sunwapta River.
f8, 1/1000 of a second, 90mm