My 3rd favorite from 2015 is a shot from a trip we took to Maui in February. And it showcases one of my favorite photographic techniques. I am drawn towards capturing images in a way that adds a surreal, almost painterly, effect. To that end I often use long exposure to enhance the motion, the saturation and to add contrast between the sharp portions of the image and the blurred motion.
This shot caught my eye because of the way the swirling water seemed to balance the clouds. All I had to do was set up my composition and find the shutter speed that worked well with the speed of the receding waves to get the motion was after. In this instance it was 4s. And as usual, I took many shots as the sun set so I could pick the one with the "best" wave personality.
You also might notice if you have been following along with this series how often I use Canon tilt shift lenses (TS-E) on my Sony cameras. I have 3 or the 4 that Canon makes including the 24mm, 45mm and 90mm. And these are staples of my landscape and commercial kit. I won't go into all the benefits they offer but here are my big 3.
- The 1st, and simplest, is that they allow you to easily move your horizon up or down to extenuate either the foreground or the sky, whichever is most interesting. And many shots can be much more interesting if the horizon isn't smack dab in the middle of the frame.
- These lenses also allow for an easy 2.5:1 panorama simply by taking three shots. One shift left, one center and one right and then stitching them together in post processing. And many other combinations of shift and stitch are possible as well. This lets me have a lens that does double duty. A great landscape lens and a panorama lens that keeps me from having to carry around a separate pano head for my tripod.
- The 3rd great feature of these lenses isn't so simple, they allow you to tilt the front of the lens. In layman's terms this allows unique control of the focus of the scene. In the image above I tilted the lens down which had the effect of bringing more of the image into focus without using a larger aperture, like say f/22.