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Old June 26th 04, 09:29 PM
Ken Nadvornick
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Default [SI] XXXI Critique

"street shooter" wrote:

Ken Nadvornick

I am really exited about this image. The fields and mountains, even
the vehicles on the two-lane road, impart a wonderful sense of place.
The chapel and the Pause, Rest, Worship sign provide a cultural
reference. Also, your camera provides better EXIF data than mine!
Fantastic interpretation of the Mandate, and a technically strong
image. Great work!

Hi Michael,

Many thanks for another good review from you.

The main problem for me in making this photograph was compositional. The
chapel sits alone in a field alongside the highway and adjacent to the
Skykomish River. It is somewhat remote and the problem eventually became to
convey that sense of remoteness.

The conventional approach might be to relegate the chapel to an
insignificantly sized shape in the distance, overwhelmed by its surrounding
environment. I did not want to do this, however, as I needed the structure
to be depicted large enough to be recognizable for what it was.

In keeping with the SI philosophy of learning, I remembered the observations
another reviewer, Alan Browne, had made regarding my "Held Together"
submission. (This was the photo of side-by-side gravestones in the foggy
cemetery.) He wrote,

"The shot might be considered over centered and under cropped. But
a closer up view would have presented a perspective separating the
two headstones, defeating the mandate."

I agreed with that and decided to try the opposite approach with this
composition. By placing a relatively close-up image of the chapel on the
far left side and balancing it with the roadsign (required for context) and
the highway on the far right side -- both outside the traditional vertical
"thirds" lines -- it left in the middle a large empty space consisting of
the empty parking lot and huge field behind. This, I felt, served to convey
that sense of remoteness I was looking for without the need to
compositionally "shrink" the chapel structure.

After locating the tripod on top of my truck's camper shell to gain a more
balanced near/far perspective (and allow me to keep the vertical power poles
vertical since I'd be presumably skinned alive for using a view camera in
the SI), I then added a #25A deep red filter. This was done not necessarily
to darken the blue sky (its normal Ansel Adams usage), but rather to
recreate the overall sense of harshness I was feeling while sitting there in
the 86 deg F (30 deg C) hot sun.

The +3-stop exposure compensation required for the filter allowed for a
shutter speed just slow enough -- and with adequate DOF -- to nicely blur
the motion of the vehicles on the highway. Then I simply waited for one to
locate itself directly above the sign.

Thanks again for reviewing the photos in this mandate. I look forward to
seeing more of your submissions as well.


P.S. Yep, pretty good EXIF firmware in those Nikon F2s, eh?? grin