Article: Theme plus Variation

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Most photographers think of traveling to far-flung plus exotic places where ideal pictures can presumably be served up about a golden platter. I’d argue, nevertheless, which most iconic land pictures you enjoy are frequently prepared inside the photographer’s yard – places which have become familiar to the photographer from months plus years of aware exploration.

In comparison to a faraway locale where you might just invest a some days inside 1 place, shooting closer to house affords we the time to understand the landscape’s tips like the number one vantage point, season plus time of day for shooting. Photography is initial plus foremost regarding seeing plus interpretation. And with enough cautious plus consistent attention, you are able to discover amazing pictures to be created even inside what (for you) is the many average of places.

My backyard: Loop Head, Ireland

Shortly following moving to Ireland I challenged me to picture the same place regularly. This place – the 1 shown in every of these pictures – is known as Loop Head plus is simply up the road from where I reside. It’s a headland inside the west of County Clare as well as the graphic elements here are sky, ocean along with a cliff face with several rocky islands along with a all-natural rock arch. Over the years I have photographed the scene many of instances, I think there are even several shots about slide movie someplace found on the attic from my first see to the area certain 20 years ago.

First attempt

This is the initial photo I prepared after settling inside the region. It is a superior illustration of the bad land image! I didn’t understand the location effectively enough back then to figure out the number one conditions inside that to capture the region, neither did I invest enough time to figure out a appropriate composition. 

In addition I prepared the rookie mistake of shooting inside excellent winds with a lengthy lens along with a extended exposure time. The happen? An image which is somewhat blurry.

A greater attempt

After which catastrophe I began doing my homework. The cliffs of Loop Head face north meaning they are inside shadows nearly all of the year. Only about midsummer does the sunlight set far enough to the northwest to cast several night light onto these cliffs. To create the scene I had in your mind, but, I might moreover require an interesting sky. Now I had a program. One I might try to apply numerous occasions over time.

One summer, following waiting for weeks, the sky 1 night was everything I’d hoped for. Dramatic clouds unluckily have the tendency to block the light thus this night was all regarding waiting plus hoping.

The image we see below was eventually grabbed minutes before sunset whenever light broke from the little gap inside the clouds. I had planned to take benefit of sturdy early night light inside purchase to enhance more detail inside the cliff face. As chance might have it though, the late night light which finally broke by brought along rather sturdy, warm colors that turned out to be what this interpretation of the scene is all about.

Interestingly, this image became a bit of the compromise within the outset. I desired to include the cliff face inside the scene however I didn’t like to include a row of electricity poles which stand quite inconveniently found on the cliff top thus the proper side of the pic looks a bit cramped when the left shows a great deal of clear room. After a while, though, I warmed to the somewhat rule defying approach. In truth, I understand feel the clear room a lot offers a sense of the spot.

Variation 1

On another see to Loop Head I sought to highlight the sense of room more plus illustrate a more autumnal feel. Although I utilized a medium focal size for the image under, the dominance of the sky delivers the sensation of the open area. The somewhat cool plus subdued colour scheme and also the somewhat misty conditions inside the distance assist to convey a sense of the cool plus wet autumn day.

In autumn the sunlight rises inside the southeast as well as for a brief time casts certain light found on the land plus components of the cliffs. As there are no leading lines inside this composition this light is key to supply some sort of level to the scene. Even over inside the initially image the scene wouldn’t function without an interesting sky.

Finally to smoothen the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean a bit I improved the f-stop to 22 plus utilized a ND filter to receive a longer exposure time. If I might have frozen the swell with a brief exposure time the soft autumnal feel of the image might have been lost.

Variation 2

On this event I was striving to find what the scene will be like about a summer morning. The vantage point is due east thus I knew I will be shooting straight into the sunlight, that might usually signify a truly variety inside compare between cliffs plus sky. But on this morning I was hoping which the fog might result in the task manageable. Needless to state I didn’t anticipate this scene we see under! Loop Head lies somewhat elevated to the rest of the peninsula however, I didn’t anticipate this might have these an impact about how the scene might present itself.

At initially I tried a synonymous composition because the past image. The broad view nevertheless wasn’t very right, though. So I changed lenses plus zoomed inside. This image is regarding the comparison of the dark cliffs, the white fog flowing into the sea as well as the warm dawn colors inside the sky. This tighter view isolates plus concentrates on these key ingredients. Again this composition breaks a main rule: The horizon line cuts the image inside half plus having 50% of a image comprise of featureless sky isn’t what we discover either. Here, nonetheless, it functions well.

The just thing left was to figure out the exposure time. After certain test exposures, 10 seconds turned out to be ideal to blur the fog plus highlight its flow.

Variation 3

This final image was produced lately throughout a spell of especially stormy weather. I could state which standing about a north facing cliff top with gale force north-westerly winds (plus gusts of 120km/h plus more) is not always the wise decision! And utilizing a extended lens with a somewhat extended exposure amount of time in these conditions is an even worse idea. Unfortunately, this was truly the only method to achieve my goal: Focus found on the rock arch plus somewhat blur the waves crashing from it.

The composition here was really simple. I zoomed inside found on the cliff face as well as the rock arch plus left a bit of space inside the background to place the place into several context. Now all I required was for a time of calm wind along with a monster wave crashing from the arch to happen at the same time.

I shot over 300 frames inside merely over an hr plus as possible imagine nearly all of the shots were blurry due to the wind rattling at the 300mm lens throughout the 1/5 next exposure. In the finish I was left with 2 keeper pictures. An added bonus inside the 1 we see here is the spray coming over the back of the cliff. This really is not sea spray from below yet little streams running over the edge of the cliff into the sea. Or at minimum they might have encounter the sea were it not for the winds. The truth which the updraft propels these streams directly into the air provides we an idea of the conditions I was shooting because day.

Staying put

All the pictures inside the post have been made of the same viewpoint, all which changed were lenses, seasons plus weather (as well as the experience of the photographer). Needless to say, over time I have photographed the cliffs from additional places also. I have moved up plus down the coastline to obtain alternative methods of seeing plus interpreting this area, occasionally with achievement plus often with not much to show for it. But I usually keep going back. I understand there continue to be several wise pictures available!

This is the newest post inside Carsten’s land photography series. Previous pieces include The DSLR Field Camera, Evolution of a Image, Landscape Photography Primer, Studio inside the Wild along with a Gura Gear backpack review.


Carsten Krieger is a pro land plus wildlife photographer based inside the West of Ireland plus writer of many books found on the Irish land plus nature, including his latest title, Ireland’s Coast. To learn more regarding his function please see his website: www.carstenkrieger.com.

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