More from Mt Fitz Roy!

Last week I shared my favorite picture of the trip (and subsequently one of my favorite pictures of the year), but I also mentioned that I tried many times to get that shot.  This week, I wanted to share some more of the creative process that led me to that one image.

A lesson I learned early on in my photographic journey is the idea of “working a scene”.  To work a scene is to not get stuck on one composition, but to move.  I find that the creative process is an iterative one, and what I mean by that is I’ll see something and take a picture of it, and then once I’m satisfied I got the exposure right, I’ll move my camera and try something else.  Get higher, go low, back up, scoot forward… change locations altogether.  When I first started attempting to capture Mt Fitz Roy with the road, my original composition had the sides of the road going straight to the corners of the image (see below for a few versions).  However, on the morning I got “the shot”, as the sun started coming up behind me, my shadow stretched out way in front of me, into the image.  I changed to a longer lens (so the camera was “seeing” past my shadow), which forced me to take the sides of the road out of the corners so you could still see the top of the mountain, and I ultimately landed on a composition I liked even better.  As the day progressed, I continued to look for scenes where I could fit the mountain into it, but perhaps something else was the primary subject, such as the stream scene above.  From all these, I ultimately choose a favorite, and then most of the others are never seen… but without going through that whole process, I’d never know what I actually liked better.  I have to keep looking at it, and looking at it… then I can finally “see” it.

More next week from Patagonia,

–Dan Thompson

Cades Cove

Cades Cove
Lago Argentino Department, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
Direction

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