Those Pockets of Light

Working a forest can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to show the whole forest in one image. The contrast between the darks and the lights can lead to an image where the subject matter is unclear. One of the solutions to make this scenario easier is to do a bracketed set and then merge in post to create an HDR image. This has been around for some time. With the power in ACR now in some scenario’s it is actually easier and less time consuming to do a single image and bring up the shadow content. Either way there is a solution to finish the image.

In this case I was focusing on the light coming through the trees creating those shadows. The subject really isn’t about the forest but just that little bit of light working its way through. Both were simple clicks with the D5 and 70-200 VRII and finished in ACR.

Either vertically or horizontally the story works because the subject hasn’t changed, it’s still the light. So when you’re working those forests really remember what the subject is and how the light is helping or not helping that subject.

A New Ranch To Explore

One of the reasons I became a photographer was because I enjoyed exploring. One of the great things about Montana is that there is a whole lot of area to explore. One of those areas I got to explore recently was a private ranch outside of Columbus and not only was it a huge ranch it still had that old timey western feel, like at any point some outlaw was about to ride up on his horse.

One thing that can make a difference in your photography is to challenge yourself by only using one lens. While I was out at this ranch I did a lot of hiking. I decided to make life simple and carry only one lens, one body. The light was somewhat diffused but nothing worthwhile by going wide, so I went with the D5, 70-200 VRII and a TC-17E II in my pocket. I was looking for those pockets of light where the most drama could be found.

Obviously, I found an old building. It’s really not that hard to do in Montana, there are a lot of old structures still standing. Each one has its own characteristics which make it unique. This particular one was kinda sinking in on one side and slanted over on the other side. So when it comes to these structures showing these details are important.

As you can see even with just one lens, with a little time you can go from that wide shot, to the detail shot and capture the whole story. My favorite part is all the nails going in at an angle.

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