The Art of See­ing

Ben Brain in the trop­i­cal heat of Panama

Digital Camera World - - CONTENTS -

Re­cently I’ve trav­elled quite a bit, and I’ve found my­self work­ing in new ways. On this trip I was lucky enough to be tran­sit­ing the Panama Canal. I nearly missed cap­tur­ing the first lock as I waited for my lens to ac­cli­ma­tise from the cool en­vi­ron­ment of my cabin to the hu­mid, trop­i­cal heat. There’s not much you can do other than wait for the glass to heat up and de­fog.

Try­ing to cap­ture the im­pact the Canal has had on the world through a lens proved a real chal­lenge. Ev­ery­thing I was shoot­ing was OK but, frankly, not much more than good-qual­ity ‘record’ shots. It was after the first set of locks, while the ship was in Gatun Lake, that it oc­curred to me I needed to be ap­proach­ing this with the mind­set of a land­scape pho­tog­ra­pher. After all, it’s one of the most sig­nif­i­cant hu­man-made ma­nip­u­la­tions of the land in his­tory.

As is my wont, I ended up cre­at­ing a small se­ries (about 12 im­ages) of land­scapes taken from the ship that

re­veal var­i­ous as­pects of the trop­i­cal to­pog­ra­phy. How­ever, if there’s one im­age I feel sums up the ex­pe­ri­ence of the jour­ney, it would be this one.

In this im­age we see the rear end of a con­tainer ship: there must be the best part of a hun­dred con­tain­ers in sight. Con­trasted against the jun­gle and the heavy, moody sky, the el­e­ments of the com­po­si­tion all come to­gether to tell the story I was hop­ing to com­mu­ni­cate.

Tech­ni­cally it’s a straight­for­ward im­age. There’s no point in us­ing a tri­pod on a vi­brat­ing mov­ing ship, so it was hand­held, which I just about got away with.

Bene­dict Brain Pho­tog­ra­pherCam­era: Nikon D850Lens: Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED at 70mm Ex­po­sure: 1/200 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100www.bene­dict­brain.com

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