Storms on the horizon and mostly cloudy overhead. That is what I saw when I stepped out of the Middle Caicos villa well before sunrise. While I admit that going back to bed seemed like a good (and justifiable) option, I knew that storms could bring desired drama and resisted that urge. While a sky completely covered in rainstorm was not of interest to me on this morning, I saw enough breaks in the clouds to give hope for some dramatic skies and I stayed with the plan.
Mudjin Harbor is my favorite location in the causeway-connected North and Middle Caicos islands (Turks and Caicos Islands are just north of Haiti and Dominican Republic). The cliffs and beaches in this location are stunning and the color of the water is among the best anywhere. The close-to-shore reef system brings entertainment in terms of waves and many small ironshore formation limestone rock islands dot the landscape, including Dragon Cay (Dragon Island) as seen here.
At this resolution, it is not especially easy to recognize the dragon lying in the water, but the rightmost large rock is shaped like a horn-nosed dragon head with its body (including shoulders and hips) flowing to the left and followed by its tail. A goal for this trip was to capture some images that included this fun land formation in them and having a nearby villa was part of the plan implementation.
A big attraction of Mudjun Harbor is a pair of caves and one of the caves faces the beast. A great and popular compositional technique is to frame a subject within its surroundings and one of my favorite natural frames is the opening of a cave. In addition to making a good frame, this particular cave offered a couple of additional benefits on this morning.
First, the sustained wind speed was just over 30 mph and gusts were reaching 50+ mph. That is fierce enough to blow a camera and tripod over and strong enough to make it difficult to even stand up, let alone frame and capture a sharp image. It is strong enough to make a painful whistle across one's ears and strong enough to blow salt water deep inland (causing, minimally, front lens element clarity issues). I was able to get deep enough into this cave to essentially eliminate the wind factor.
You can see the other issue approaching in this image. A small-but-significant rainstorm is close and on direct course for my position. The cave offered shelter from the rain and allowed me to photograph continuously as it approached and hit.
The word "cave" is often used to describe a dark venue and though these cave walls were brighter than many, they were quite dark and the backlit clouds were much brighter. This scenario means that an HDR technique was required. Two images with different exposures were manually (painstakingly in this case) blended in Photoshop to achieve the result seen here.
Obviously, this rainstorm was back-lit by the sun and direct sunlight on rain holds promise for another highly valued, loved-by-everyone landscape photography element that I'll share later.
Note: The Canon version of the Vello FreeWave IR TTL Flash Commander is similar in functionality to the significantly more expensive Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter. On the plus side, the Vello Flash Commander features a rotating head which can come in handy under certain shooting conditions. However, a downside is that the Vello Flash Commander does not feature an AF Assist beam like the Canon ST-E2.
Samples comprised of six photographs from Canon Explorers of Light printed on new Canon Photo and Fine Art media
MELVILLE, N.Y., January 26, 2017 – Demonstrating the quality of its large-format output, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, has announced that customers will have the opportunity to receive fine art and photo media samples printed on imagePROGRAF PRO Series large-format printers with images taken by Canon’s Explorers of Light. With an opportunity to view finished output firsthand, those interested will be able to see with their own eyes the gallery quality of images printed on the PRO Series using its 11-color plus Chroma Optimizer ink system on six different media types.
By visiting www.usa.canon.com/imagePROGRAFprintsample, those interested can request samples printed on the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000, imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 and imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 devices using the following Canon media types: Photo Paper Pro Premium Matte, Premium Fine Art Bright White, Premium Fine Art Smooth, Premium Polished Rag, Photo Paper Pro Premium Platinum and Photo Paper Pro Luster. In addition to displaying the quality of Canon’s large-format output, this program is designed to help consumers make a more educated decision when shopping for printers and media types.
Canon’s Explorers of Light program is comprised of influential photographers and cinematographers from across the globe, each who focuses on their own creative specialty. Appearing at seminars, gallery showings and special events throughout the United States, the Explorers of Light share their photography and technical expertise with audiences of photo professionals, hobbyists, and enthusiasts. Customers who request samples will receive photographs shot using Canon EOS DSLR cameras from the following Explorers of Light: Michele Celentano, Darrell Gulin, Adam Jones, George Lepp, Ken Sklute and Jennifer Wu.
Hairdresser and Canon enthusiast, Stephen McNally, only took up photography 8 years ago. Now, with his own long exposure black and white photography exhibition, it has all happened so quickly for someone who has mastered the art of taking it slowly.
Photographers are storytellers: we tell a story within the frame of a still image.
What we include in the frame depends on our mood and feeling, as well as the mood or feeling we want to convey. The technique we use to tell that story often depends on several factors, including making a color or black-and-white image (a black-and-white image perhaps looks more creative because some of the reality of the scene has been removed), using a fast or slow shutter speed to freeze or blur the action, choosing a wide or small aperture to minimize or maximize what is in focus in front of and behind the focus point – and perhaps most important: the lens we choose.
In this article I’d like to share my story about a recent trip to the bottom of the world, which included stops in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica. To illustrate my story I’ll share with you the Canon zoom lenses I used and my camera settings on my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EOS 5DS. My goal is to give you some ideas on how you can tell your story when traveling.