Two Images, Not as Dissimilar as They Appear
Here are two newly edited images from 2021, a year of social isolation, boating, and just a little photography. I'm choosing to upload them together, as they represent a similar approach and experience, even if the images look dramatically different. Both images were captured during our "COVID walks". Whether it's inside the house, in the neighborhood, or at a local park, COVID has made us constant walkers. We are always feeling the need to go for a stroll (likely from spending so much time at home!)
"Winter Lines" was captured during a brief January stay at a family cabin near Ely, MN. After a long snow event of fluffy flakes, the pine trees were evenly coated, enhancing the geometry of the strong vertical trunks and extra detail added by the smaller branches. Like all images that I capture during a leisurely stroll, this was shot without a tripod. I spent some time looking for a point of view that allowed me to capture the dense woods without letting distracting patches of sky to sneak into the frame. The composition worked because I found a clearing that allowed me some distance from the edge of the woods.
"Cloaked in Color" was a very similar experience (OK, maybe except for the temperature and what I was wearing): a hand-held shot captured during one of our walks. This was at a Minnesota State Park, where we went for a slightly longer stroll (you could almost call this one a hike.) The funny thing is that I captured this from the parking lot, a minute after getting out of the car. Then, I carried my camera with the telephoto lens for the full length of the walk, but ended up not taking any other images. Just like the clearing had worked to my advantage in the image above, the parking lot allowed me some distance to create a composition that I found appealing. The hike was fun, but the only benefit of bringing the camera ended up being a the little extra workout afforded by the additional weight.
The first image, "Winter Lines", was captured at 160mm, using ISO 400, an aperture of f/7.1, and a shutter speed of 1/250 sec. The higher ISO allowed me to shoot the image without a tripod (which I was not carrying). I probably could (and should) have used a smaller aperture, as my stabilized lens can deliver a sharp image with a slower shutter speed (see below for example.) That would have delivered more sharpness through the full depth of the image... However, I still quite like the result.
The second image, "Cloaked in Color", was captured at 300mm, using ISO 500, an aperture of f/7.1, and a shutter speed of 1/100 sec. Notice that I was able to shoot this hand held even at the long end of my Canon EF70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM lens.
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