A couple years ago I was a approached by a young man who was on a quest to offer photo workshops in various parts of the country, and his target audience was mostly to young students of the Christian Faith. He was in Alaska and wanted to pick my brain on marketing workshops, finding locations, and some camera operating information. I met with him and a few of his workshop participants. Was a pleasant meeting and since then I’ve followed his blog. I like the way he does a series he titles: “How the shot was taken”. Here is one of his posts…
I heard that the Jonsrud View Point was a good place to photograph Mt. Hood without having to travel very far outside of Portland. And I suppose it would be a good overlook if there weren’t any clouds to obstruct the view. But since it happened to be quite cloudy on the only two opportunities I had to stop in at this overlook during a quick camping trip in the Columbia River Gorge last month, I figured it was a good opportunity to change strategies. Instead of shooting for the big landscape, I challenged myself to work the scene to capture what would probably have been missed in my disappointment.
If what you’re expecting doesn’t exist, go look for the unexpected.
So, below I’ve written out the story of how I worked the scene to find the unexpected.
I arrived at Jonsrud View Point well before sunrise. It was freezing cold for an April morning! I was hoping the clouds would break up a little when it got light, but they never did. This was the scene I had before me to work with:
At first, I thought the light green pasture off in the distance might make for a good anchor in a picture, so I zoomed in a bit and composed a shot that looked like this:
I wasn’t feeling it. So next I turned my attention to the mist’s interaction with the trees a little closer to me. I’ve always liked looking at pictures of trees floating in mist so I figured this was probably the time to try to come up with my own version. First attempt:
The island of trees had caught my eye so I zoomed in as far as I could to see what I could do with it. Perhaps some cropping in post could make it work, but again, it just didn’t seem right. In working a scene, I always try out different framing possibilities, so here was another idea:
Click here to finish reading the story on James’s blog!