Monday, January 30, 2012

Ride Along Shot- The Snowy Track

Greetings, volks. Welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! A sunny Monday greeted us with a chilling embrace. –15 is no way to start the day!

The winner of this week’s poll is The Fortress (For the Superman Fans). Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Well let’s outline it for you!

In the Superman movies, Superman had a place where he could go to be alone and recharge. It was called the Fortress of Solitude. You guessed it; our theme for the week is Solitude, with a kick. Your shots should show the positive aspects of solitude, not loneliness or a single thing, but something positive, in solitude. It could be someone enjoying a moment alone, or someone escaping the world, any image showing something positive about solitude. Maybe your image will even contain more than one person, but will show solitude in a positive light. Remember; get your images for last week in tonight! We’ll feature them here.

Now on to our Ride Along Shot.

Hohenfels Volks: Snowy road through the woods
ISO 400, f/16, 1/500, 50mm
Tracks in the Snow, winter has hit Hohenfels!

While out and about, I noticed an old road. After approaching the road, I saw some tire tracks, as well as tracks from animals. Rather than isolate one or the other, I chose to highlight the road and have both sets of tracks in the shot. While the tire tracks feature more strongly and lead the eye through the frame, seeing the signs of animals, possibly a fox and a rabbit, adds a little dimension to the shot.

Given the time of day, I had to use a fast shutter speed and tight aperture to keep the snow in the range of zone 6-7. That allowed some texture and detail in the snow, and allows darker trees and surrounds that provide nice depth and contrast.

Having the tire tracks curving up through the frame, the eye, as mentioned, is led through the image, but it also creates some tension that brings it to life. Where are the tracks leading? Who was here? Where’d they come from? Several questions can be raised that add that little bit of drama, while preserving the serenity of the scene. Keeping the tracks from being dead center allows them to become the leading line, and add some grace and sweep to the shot.

I thought black and white was the only way to go with this scene. Color distracts from the snow and tracks, and it makes the image somewhat less appealing. Keeping the classic monochrome allows the tones to wander from nearly blown highlights to some slightly clipped shadows and increases the range of the image. I shot this set to monochrome and added a red filter. Putting a red filter on black and white darkens blues and greens, while brightening reds and oranges. This can add some crispness to your shots. Shooting at f/16 allows for both limiting the light, and increasing the DOF.

Remember that when making your photo, visualizing it is the key to getting your image. Take the time to view the scene, absorb what you're seeing, and find the light that allows you to make that magic with your camera. Sometimes, you stumble upon something, sometimes, you have to take what you find and make it work. Ansel Adams said “Sometimes I arrive just when God's ready to have someone click the shutter.” This seems to have been one of those times for me! Find someplace and keep going back, get to know it during all kinds of conditions. You’ll start seeing all sorts of images you can make with it, and one day, you’ll find the one you’ve been seeing.

Well, that’s it for today. Keep seeing the light and your shots before you take them. Keep shooting, and remember this week’s theme on solitude. I hope your week is a great one!

Don’t forget to post any of your images you’d like to see here at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget our new Hohenfels Volks Google+, too.

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