Em­brace the gloom at Der­went­wa­ter

Digital Camera World - - SHOOTOUT -

De­spite the ma­jor­ity of the UK be­ing des­ic­cated by a record sum­mer heat­wave, we were greeted by two days of driz­zle and down­pours in the com­par­a­tively ver­dant Lakes. The grey light and fea­ture­less skies, plus a re­lent­less cur­tain of rain, meant that a dif­fer­ent ap­proach was re­quired to cap­ture the land­scape – some­thing that Jen­nifer, who has a keen in­ter­est in doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­phy rather than classic land­scapes, was keen to ex­plore.

We’d ini­tially planned to hike up to the top of Cat Bells to pho­to­graph the view across Der­went­wa­ter, but there wasn’t much of a view vis­i­ble through the rain. So we made the short trip down to our first lake­side stop, Hawes End Ferry Land­ing. We had the place pretty much to our­selves apart from a few ducks and swans; as a ferry sliced through the murk, Jen­nifer lined up this frame.

“I was shoot­ing hand­held, with a shut­ter speed of 1/125 sec in or­der to avoid cam­era shake,” she ex­plains. “I chose an aper­ture of f/4.5, as an ex­ten­sive depth of field isn’t al­ways that im­por­tant to me – I’m al­ways look­ing to cap­ture a story with feel­ing, and tend to shy away from per­fect clar­ity from front to back.”

Ex­pert opin­ion

We love the curve of the shore and branches that lead the eye to the boat in Jen­nifer’s com­po­si­tion. We’d be tempted to clone out the bright stone at the bot­tom of the frame, though.

Even though David came armed with a host of lenses, as soon as he was handed the D850 with a 50mm lens, he de­cided to use only this com­bi­na­tion for the en­tire Shootout. He also chose not to use his tri­pod. “I was re­ally just chal­leng­ing my­self to shoot in a more sim­ple way while re­ly­ing on the qual­ity and dy­namic range of the D850,” he re­veals. “This im­age is all about the wet fore­ground rocks, and I shot it with a black-and-white con­ver­sion in mind. I wanted the jetty to be ac­cept­ably sharp in or­der to add con­text to the rocks, but I also wanted the back­ground out of fo­cus to help sep­a­rate the el­e­ments, and I felt that an aper­ture of f/8 was my best com­pro­mise.

“As there was no de­tail in the sky be­cause of the weather, I opted to ex­clude this blank can­vas by fram­ing the scene from be­neath the over­hang­ing tree near the shore. It stops the eye wan­der­ing out of shot and adds in­ter­est­ing de­tail. “In the end it took 14 shots to get this frame, as I was wait­ing for the ducks to move into the shot and face to­wards the left of the scene. I had to wait for five min­utes be­fore they did so.”

Ex­pert opin­ion

The way that David’s framed the lay­ers of this scene cre­ates a har­mo­nious re­sult, and he’s done a crack­ing job of bring­ing out the blend of tex­tures – from spiky fo­liage to glossy, rip­pled rocks – with the blackand-white fin­ish.

Chal­lenge 1 Jen­nifer Berry

Chal­lenge 1 David Good­ier

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