We returned back to camp after Alex and Shea descended from the mountain hike (that we’re still not entirely sure if it was legal). Joey, Sam and I were still feeling the need to take some photographs for the day, so we wandered down to the shore of Jenny Lake to relax and make some daylight photographs.
Knowing very well that daylight is less-than-ideal for landscape, I knew I needed to look for high-contrast and intriguing scenes. I shot this photograph, which ended up being one of my favorites from the trip, during this time. However, when I shot this particular image featured in this post, I couldn’t get behind it as much as the one that did make the cut.
While this image does do many things that I enjoy, such as a clear subject (the trough of snow), the way the trees and rocks frame that tough, and a tight composition, I couldn’t help but think that this photo was made at the wrong time of day. This scene doesn’t seem to want to have stark mid-day contrast. Where the photo that did make it that i linked above has beautiful light pops, minimalistic and abstracted aesthetic, and subtle cool tones, this image doesn’t really work as well.
I am a big fan of long-lens landscape photography. A couple of my fellow photo nerds/majors have asked me to see some wide-angle stuff, and I only have a small number of wide-angle landscapes. A vast majority of my landscapes are shot either at a standard focal length (35mm on a crop-sensor being close to 55mm), or with a 70-200. I love the idea of flattening the scene, bringing in the subtle dynamic of a tightly-composed image. I connect more with it than I do with grande vistas distorted by the false representation of a wide-angle lens (do I feel another blog topic coming on?).
This image taught me something that has come up before periodically.
Wait on it. Still shoot the image now, but really consider what light would best be suited for this scene. Is this it? Or could the color or light be better? If the answer to the latter question is yes, and you have the ability to re-shoot that same composition (or a variation) later, then absolutely do that.
However, that is a luxury that comes when you are in one place for longer than a day. This image was unfortunately not one that I could have re-done later in the day, but i also didn’t know that i should have done that at all.