Just One Photo: Day 4 & 5
This week I have been challenging myself to only shoot one photo per day, one click of the shutter. I’m not limiting myself to a particular subject but all images are in B&W. You can see Day 1 and Days 2 & 3 on previous posts. I didn’t have a particular destination in mind and was prepared to hike for a while, with morning light filtering through the aspens. I stopped at the cemetery to see if the flowers were in bloom and sure enough, it was filled with flowers and slivers of light.
I walked around for a while, reading the various dates and names on tombstones. These particular tombstones caught my eye because of the untold story. Between 1886-1891, G. & M Wilkenson lost 3 children, none living beyond 14 months. Times were tough for people in this remote section of the Utah Territory (not yet a state) as seen by the numerous graves of those taken too soon. One tombstone is inscribed “Just came to show how sweet a flower in paradise would bloom.”
From a photography viewpoint, I now had a strong subject and had to determine how to make a photograph. The air was perfectly still so I knew I could safely include the wildflowers in the image. White flowers tend to show up nice in B&W images, imagine that! I first found a composition that worked using the light emphasize the white flower and keep the other flowers somewhat against a shadow. The next choice is aperture. I chose one that would allow for some depth, allowing the flowers in the middle to remain in focus. With a white flower in the light, this must be in focus for this image to work. Too shallow of an aperture and all other flowers go out of focus. You can guess where I focused in this image based on this. Next was exposure. If you were to set your camera on Auto-Mode, the flowers would likely be blown out due to the coverage of shadows. You can guess how much to under expose based on the auto reading, but this doesn’t seem too exact. I spot metered the white flower and underexposed 2/3 stop from there because the reading included a slight bit of shadow and the dark stem area. The highlights could possibly still be overexposed and that doesn’t work. A quick double-check of the wind and click.
The second image (yesterday morning) was taken from around mid-mountain at Park City Mountain Resort. I hiked up to this spot in the dark and dawn light and watched sunrise from a great vantage point. My eyes scanned the horizon and valleys and they kept coming back to this view. King Road climbs from Main Street and goes to the now abandoned Silver King Mine. The aspens in this section are as tall and picturesque as any I’ve seen in Park City so I focused my view there. Technically, this image was fairly straight forward. It contains blue, yellow and green with strong shapes of the white aspens and a more subtle curving and ascending road. With the first light of the morning illuminating the forest from the side, the aspens remain white and the shadows deep black.
I metered the road, the side of the road, the tree tops of yellow and green and found them all within a reasonable range. I was perfectly fine with shadows being near black, making the exposure fairly easy to determine from the camera. There was no great depth to the image so I used f/9 to keep the trees in the upper left to bottom right in focus. My concern with this image was wind. I was only shooting at 70mm but because of the distance and 1/4 sec exposure, a slight gust could make an out of focus image. This can’t happen with only one shot! I waited for a minute or two, the stood up wind from the camera, waited for a lull and click.
Thanks for reading along and feel free to ask any questions,