52 Week Photo Challenge – Week 14: Landscape – Zoomed In
I am trying to catch up on the 52-week challenge, this week I went back to week 14. Week 14’s theme was a zoomed in landscape, instead of the usual great sweeping vista. I may have miss interpreted this one and zoomed in a little too far for my images, by going almost macro for one and just focusing on a tree for another.
I took both of these images around two in the afternoon; which means, I was shooting in harsh direct sunlight. For these images, I used a Canon 70D with my 18-200mm lens (love that lens) with a 100 ISO.
The first image is of a purple clover like flower that likes to grow in patches. To take this photo I got down on the ground, flipped out the LCD screen on the camera, and used lived view so I could position the camera how I wanted. Thus, I did not have to contort myself into awkward positions to use the viewfinder to frame the shot. For this photo, my lens was set to 40mm, and I used an F4.5 aperture with a 1/320s shutter. These settings gave me a very narrow depth of field. As you can see from the original image, I cropped it to bring the viewers attention to the two clovers in focus and used the twigs as leading lines to the clovers. For the final image, I used a custom white balance adjusted from the daylight setting, adjusted the exposure to darken the image, and increased both the clarity and vibrancy, while keeping a linear contrast curve. I also adjusted the sharpness and luminance of the image. And of course, I adjusted for lens aberration. Finally, I added some light vignetting to the image to make the clovers pop in the finalized image.
The second image is more of an accident, because I did not intend it to be for this challenge but as a representative shot of a location, to study for an upcoming photoshoot. However, after inspection of the image I felt that this image met the challenge a bit better than my almost macro shot above. I feel this meets more of the challenge's theme because you can see the tree is indeed part of a large landscape even if that larger landscape is not immensely interesting on its own. Since this was just supposed to be a test shot I was not worried about camera settings, but as full disclosure, I was at 18mm with an F5 aperture and a 1/160s shutter speed. To process this image I used a custom white balance adjusted from the daylight setting, adjusted the exposure especially the shadows and black, increased both the clarity and vibrancy, while using a medium contrast curve. I also adjusted the sharpness of the image. I then applied a preset filter to make the sky appear bluer and give the final image an HDR look and corrected for lens aberration. Finally, I added some light vignetting to the image to the finalized image.
Overall, I am not overly happy with these images, especially the first image. I am not happy with how it came out because it did not provide the depth or expanse of the clover coverage in that area. While I did take photos as a higher angle to show more of the field, there was no central focal point to tie the image together or provide a point of interest. In addition, I believe I was rushing myself since I had my dog, who was on a leash, with me. I am surprised how the sample shots came out, because I really was not trying. I only ever adjusted the camera for the fact I was in the shade and did not want the tree trunks to turn out all back, since that is what I wanted to study in the images. Therefore, lesson learned is do not rush, and sometimes what you think are throwaway images will surprise you.