28 Feb 2011

Fragile Strength

Scanning my images from India and reading up on background information for the captions I am reminded as to how fragile our natural world is. It makes me sad to think that such beautiful powerful creatures as the Indian Tiger may very well become a shadow of the past.

Glimpse Into The Past, Indian Tiger, Rantambore, Rajasthan

15 Feb 2011

Be bold and use the telephoto lens for landscapes

The Namib Desert is full of photographic gems, yet it is not easy to capture the expansive landscape and its intricate atmosphere.

Travelling into the desert from Windhoek one may choose to drive over the Spreetshoogte pass; the view from there is just breathtaking. Camping at the top of the pass allowed me to photograph at sunset and sunrise, the low sun shining flat across the plains creating long shadows at each foothill. The 600mm telephoto lens compresses the landscape and emphasizes the various lines, patterns and colours. I literally had hundreds of square kilometers of space to choose from to get the "right" composition. Since the sun moves quickly there is not much time and instinct takes over, first scanning the landscape without the camera before looking thru the lens for the final framing.

I believe a telephoto lens very often is the better choice for a landscape image than the wideangle. Browsing thru portfolios of "classical american landscape photography" for instance, I get bored quickly as the photographers typically use the wideangle lens and the views are rather repetitive. While the landscape, light and colours may be fantastic, the compositions are without surprise to me as a viewer. With a telephoto lens you as the photographer must make a much bolder and unique choice to depict atmosphere and vastness. It is much more of challenge than the "safe" choice of a wideangle shot and often results in exiting and unique landscape images.

Arid Pattern, Central Namib, Namibia

14 Feb 2011

Simply Dramatic

African thunderstorms are unlike any others, this one moving over the expansive Etosha Pan in Namibia. I was sitting on the roof of my landcruiser watching the setting sun glow behind dark clouds and listening to the approaching sounds of thunder. Using my 20mm wideangle with an iso 200 I did not need a tripod despite the encroaching darkness.

Etosha Thunderstorm, Namibia

13 Feb 2011

Story, emotion and context

A wildlife and nature image becomes powerful not only by artistic qualities but also thru its subject and content. It must provide a story about the place or animal and create an emotional response. I believe it is important to provide some context, by that I mean for example showing an animal in its environment rather than getting close for a portrait.

Story, emotion and context are part of what I call natural synergy.

Bullying Bull Frog, Etosha Nationalpark, Namibia

Light, colour and composition

The artistic essence of a good photograph for me is its use of light, colour and composition. Not exactly big news. Sounds rather easy actually, until you get behind that camera and try to "reduce to the max". Taking the abundance of what lays before you and compress it into a magnetizing visual piece of photographic art. In the posts to come I will try to convey thru my work what I mean and give you specific examples.

Light, colour and composition are part of what I call natural synergy.

The Flame Of The Forest, Rajasthan, India