2015 Top 5!
The final 5 including some behind the scenes images of how they were ‘created’
#5 Mount Cook by Day : This was a single shot taken from the SH80 at Peter’s Lookout. With a long focal length, the road is ‘compressed’ into a what appears more winding than it actually is. The catalogue shows a couple of verticals taken with plenty of headroom. We try to shoot for potential ‘cover’ images for magazines while on the scene these days. Once again, usually after shooting for ourselves. I like this image and I wondered if it may have been something more suited to social media and perhaps even for a postcard? I prefer another version of this scene later in the countdown.
#4 Marinner’s Falls manipulation: The walk to Marinner’s falls is officially closed due to the risk of falling trees. Indeed, as you walk toward the falls there are many parts of the path which require a duck under or scramble over these fallen trees. Just before the base of the splashpool there is a high concentration of fallen trees which I thought framed the falls quite well at a longer focal length and with this composite, I tried to give a claustrophobic feel to being beneath these trees. The shots required varying degrees of polarisaition and focal points hence the numerous images required to make the final version.
#3 Mount Cook light trails : This scene was taken about 30-40 minutes before the #5. For the details of my inadvertent comp-stomp effort, follow the link to another blog post I made about this topic.
I first started from compete safety shooting the scene from the lookout itself but found that it was just too obscured. Since I was shooting solo, I could not leave my tripod setup in the middle of the road (even though no cars were coming). I would have preferred to have this shot with the same composition as #5 above but had to settle for the angle from a traffic island in the turnoff to the lookout.
#2 Spal Pool Karijini : This image was taken from one of the most iconic locations in the Pilbara. I wanted to come away with something a little different to what I had seen from this spot. My specific aims were to have an image with completely smooth water to contrast with the rock textures (as most images I had seen had rough water in the pool), a warm cool contrast and some deep shadows to the image. It’s important to note that most of the images from this location look very ‘HDR’ but that is simply because it is how it looks! Believe it or not, when the light goes off the pool, that orange on the back wall really stands out but I tried to give more depth in this version by darkening that area. I would have loved to try more compositions with this lighting bad the tourist gods were not on our side and I had to give way to a family wanting to swim in the pool. It is one of my favourite shots for the year even if it is an increasingly frequently ‘trophy’ shot. In the RAW series you can see Marianne shooting away at another part of the gorge too!
#1 Hopetoun Falls : We took the kids down to the platform just before lunch time on a winter’s day. When we arrived at the bottom there was very nice diffuse light above the falls. I have a strong preference for shooting natural light rather than creating it in post processing and perhaps in my mind, I was taking this image with some kind of mental protest against the trend of light painting in forest scenes. Nonetheless, this image is also one of my favourites simply because it was an image that didn’t need overthinking or artistic extrapolation. With all of the thoughts running through my mind during this year, one of the main principles that I personally like to hold on to, is that photography is the process capturing light and not inventing it. I’m very happy to have the majority of landscape photographers disagree with this in terms of artistic direction but it keeps things simple for me and is the real driving force for visiting and revisiting certain locations.
So that rounds out the social media top 5 for 2015! What did you think? Were they representative of our ‘style’ of photography or were there others you remember that didn’t make it?