by Bill Rafferty
(Port Orchard, WA USA)
Taken looking east from my front door... this is a small part of the Pudget Sound WA. Olympic Mountain range. I was surprized by the storm clouds so dark, yet the rays of light still visible.
Taken with a Canon A620
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This is a stunning shot, with some really classy hallmarks.
First off, I am struck by the use of a panorama. Scenery shots like this have a habit of looking a little flat and boring in print, bearing little resemblance to the original scene.
There are two neat ways to combat this – take a 3D photograph click for (more on 3D Photography), or, as Bill has done here, create a panorama.
In taking a panorama like this, you have two choices – you could crop a standard ratio photograph into a panorama shape. This has the disadvantage that you throw away a few pixels. (click for a digital photography tutorial on the crop tool)
The other method is to take a series of overlapping images, and use software to stitch the individual photos together. This keeps the quality up (because the final picture has a lot of pixels in it). But the downside to this is that, if the overlaps weren’t wide enough, the software can struggle to stitch them perfectly, and you might see the joins.
Back to other aspects of Bill’s photo that make this a great shot, there’s the subject matter itself – very dramatic!
And the framing of the photo – a silhouette of hills at the bottom of the photo, and the dark clouds above really frame this nicely.
Finally, the light. Bill has waited for a moment when the sun’s rays are illuminating the mountains, but the foreground is still dark. Waiting for the right light can really lift a picture. Here’s a tip for all of us; take a few shots as the light changes (and in mountain areas like this the light can change very quickly indeed), and select the best one later. This approach works very well with sunsets where the light, and the colours, really do change in moments.
All in all, a really good picture. Well done Bill!
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