March 02, 2008

Photo of the Week: Feb. 24, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT – Environmental portrait photography is a process that takes time for the subject and location to gel into a unified whole. Although I had been envisioning this genre of photo for weeks before arriving on the mountain, I had less than five minutes to complete the shot and I struggled to find the proper perspective while standing on a steep, rocky slope at 14,600 feet. I tried a few shots with a wide angle lens, but the subject was too small, so I backed up the hill and switched to a 135mm telephoto and asked the subject to climb onto the rock. Zoom and telephoto lenses have the effect of compressing depth, which in this photo makes the clouds appear closer to the subject. I shot about a dozen frames from start to finish, each time moving up or down until I finally found a foothold at an angle that put the subject and the rock he was on above the lower bank of clouds in order to accentuate the feeling of standing astride the edge of the world. Finally, I placed the subject along the left third to give balance to the mass of clouds in the upper right of the frame.

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