My previous blog post spoke about my fascination with mirrors and reflections, while the one before that flowed from my enjoyment of photographing water. This image from a few years ago combines both of these passions…
The Mood Of The Place
Falsterbo is a Swedish peninsula jutting out into the Baltic Sea opposite Denmark. It is much enjoyed by sun worshippers and water sports fans in the short, but intense, Swedish Summer, but I experienced it in the failing light of an autumn afternoon. Then it was cold, damp, marshy and ghostly, but intensely moody.
The light was cool, clear and strangely penetrating, given the increasing twighlight. It is the sort of place that imposes a northern gloom, balanced by a kind of primitive feel for nature that resonates with Nordic legends. At any moment the Arthurian legends might come alive, with an ethereal hand rising out of the water offering the stunned recipient the handle of Excalibur.
That said, I experienced a real sense of peace as I focussed on part of the marshy tree line a few dozen yards from the edge of the Baltic.
This was taken with my first-generation digital camera, a Nikon D70, which is enormously less capable than my third-generation Nikon D800. Nevertheless, the photograph speaks to the issue that the “eye” is far more relevant to successful image-making than the apparatus. I am always humbled, when admiring iconic images from the past, by the technical limitations imposed on the artists who nevertheless created images for all time.
I “cut my teeth” in digital photography with that body and this image is one of those which showed me that I could grow as a photographer and an artist by following the digital path.
Given the modest aspirations of the D70, the settings had to be “maxed out”, in order to make an impactful capture. The aperture was set to minimum and a long, bracketed exposure was necessary, which required the use of a tripod. After some experimentation with different exposures, exposure compensation of +1 OEV optimized the reflection of the water, while maintaining the most pleasing dynamic range between light and dark.
Camera: Nikon D70
Lens: 18-70mm zoom f/3.5 G
Focal Length: 48mm
Focus Mode: AF-C
Autofocus Area Mode: Single
Shutter Speed: 15s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Compensation : +1 OEV
Metering: Centre weighted
ISO Sensitivity: 1000
Mounted on a tripod
I personally love this image, both for its intrinsic aesthetic, as well as for the memories it holds for me of a joyful afternoon spent in the company of two dear friends. What does it do for you?
Copyright Paul Grayson 2014