This week, we are travelling a bit to the north to touch the arctic circle. Last year, I had the pleasure to spend 4 days in Iceland, which were not nearly enough to take in its beauty, but gave me a taste for more.
For 3 of the 4 days, I stayed in Akureyri, which is on the northern coast of Iceland; it is the second largest population center in Iceland with around 18,000 people. Through AirBnB, I had found a lovely farm where I had a room overlooking a fjord, and wonderful hosts.
I did my exploring in the area around Akureyri and found some amazing sights, such as the Mývatn area, where I found this rather surreal landscape. Lesser known than the Blue Lagoon in southern Iceland, Lake Mývatn is also the beneficiary of a geothermal plant. The light blue hue is due to the rich mineral content of the silica sediment that settles on the bottom; think lots of sulphur!
During the same day that I captured the images in yesterday’s post, Another shot of cold, I grabbed the opportunity to catch these leaves backlit by the sun.
I had just finished shooting some shoreline details and was walking back along the water’s edge to climb up the embankment and trudge through the snow. The clouds were beginning to look more interesting, which caused me to look up and notice the small cluster of leaves still attached in this hard winter.
Positioning the leaves in front of the sun gave me exactly the look that spoke to me, with a bit of drama in the clouds and the structure of tree from above. The way it is presented here is without any touchup in postprocessing, as I like the little bit of warmth that flows forth in this mostly black&white image.
I captured this with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII using an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II. The settings I used were a bit unusual, as I wanted a shallow depth of field, so I used f5.6 at 1/8000 second (probably the first time I’ve ever used that shutter speed).
I was not happy with this shot, but knew that there was something in these leaves that needed to be told. So, I wound up combining zoom blur and a bit of twist to get the effect that I was looking for.
In post processing, I did adjust the levels and dropped a bit of saturation to push the color palette a bit more toward the redder end of the spectrum.
Thanks to all of you who checked this out and particularly those who put forth their guesses.
This image is one that I captured about 3-1/2 years ago during a walk through the gardens of Gillette Castle in East Haddam, CT, which is a great site to visit year round. My eye was caught by the multitudinousness of the water lilies; to a degree, I found the view of this pond slightly less than tranquil, which gave me the idea of creating this image, where the eye will never rest.
I am curious to find out how you perceive this image… let me know!
Shot with a Canon 5D MkII using a 24-105 L lens. I pushed the shutter speed to about 1/3 second to be able to get the zoom blur at this level. As the camera was handheld, the tricky part was to ensure that something would stay still.
The Wednesday Wonderment series examines some of the things that amaze and inspire me; lots will be in nature, but there may be some surprises.
“What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.”
― Albert Einstein
Today’s image is all about structure. Nature provides us with a dazzling array of structures that are optimized for the function that they perform. Such is the case here with this palm leaf, which is perfectly folded to provide the strength needed to support its size, which allows it to capture as many of the sun’s vital rays as possible.
Structure that lends strength is seen in many places in nature, maybe none more dramatic than the giant sequoias.
There is also beauty in these forms beyond just the functional aspect; this beauty has us coming back time and again to appreciate a level of perfection that is rarely achieved in human endeavors.
What structure in nature is your favorite? What draws you in when you look at it?
Thank you for reading this post; I hope you enjoyed it!
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII with a 17-40mm F4 lens. F-stop used was f/8 at 1/25 second, ISO 640.
A bit of abstract photography to soothe the senses
One aspect of my photography is that I will experiment with different in-camera techniques to produce images that are more abstract than representational. Over the years, I have built up a series of images that I call Kryptomorphaics, as they bring out the hidden through transformation.
The inspiration for this image is the overwhelming sense of calmness that I felt, as I walked through the landscape observing the way the light played through the autumn leaves.
Hope you enjoy this image, as it is a little different.
The shot of the week came about on Thursday morning during my commute; yes, there may be a pattern here, as you may have noticed that I’m often inspired during morning travel.
The quality of the light was that beautiful warm tone, that occurs on chilly days when the air is nice and clear. As I traversed into Westborough, Massachusetts, I decided to stop near a pond that I had frequented before and check out what caught my attention.
In all honesty, I had first thought to do something with the way the sun’s light was playing across the trees, but the sun was still too low in the sky for the desired effect. As I walked along a path, my eye caught the tall grasses with still quite a bit of frost on them; I thought they looked pretty interesting in this color light.
Now, all I had to solve was how to make it pop in the image with just my iPhone as a tool. You can see what I did: put the sun behind a fence post, get low enough and ensure that the focus is on the front grasses to create some extra depth in the image.