Digital Photograper - - Contents -

Geir Olaf Gjer­den retells the story be­hind his mys­te­ri­ous night-time cap­ture of a Chi­nese fish­er­man

PHO­TOG­RA­PHER: Geir olaf Gjer­den WEB­SITE:­laf_g­jer­den LO­CA­TION: li river, China

TYPE OF COM­MIS­SION: Per­sonal SHOT DE­TAILS: nikon d7000, Sigma 18105mm at 34mm, 1/50sec, f4.5, iSo 1600

ABOUT THE SHOT: The key to all good travel pho­tog­ra­phy is ef­fec­tive sto­ry­telling. Travel im­ages con­tain the same sub­jects as many other gen­res, namely land­scapes, ar­chi­tec­ture and por­traits, so in order to have a unique pur­pose, they must suc­cess­fully con­vey the at­mos­phere of a lo­ca­tion. As is ev­i­dent in Geir’s image, this can be achieved by ex­plor­ing a place through the eyes of a lo­cal. “This image was taken at Li River, be­tween Guilin and Yang­shuo in China,” re­calls Geir. “I had an idea about an el­derly fish­er­man with his cor­morant birds on the river. We had to do quite a bit of re­search be­fore, at last, we got to meet this amaz­ing grey-haired Chi­nese man on his bam­boo raft. We stayed in the area for more than a week and made many scenic trips [be­fore] I got the shots of the fish­er­man.”

By ap­proach­ing the shoot with a clear con­cept, it is eas­ier to cal­cu­late how best to cap­ture the tone of a place. In this case Geir chose to work closely with the sub­ject and shoot in the early morn­ing. This was not with­out its chal­lenges how­ever. “We started the shoot when it was still pitch dark and stopped around sun­rise. The low-light con­di­tions were a chal­lenge, but the other prob­lem was the lan­guage – it was hard to give ex­act in­struc­tions to the fish­er­man and his helpers. Tak­ing th­ese pho­tos of him in the dark made the whole ex­pe­ri­ence very mag­i­cal!”

As a pho­tog­ra­pher who started his ca­reer with film, Geir still aims to do most of his work at the shoot­ing stage, al­though he has fully em­braced dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy. “I am only shoot­ing dig­i­tally now, but I still try to do as much as pos­si­ble at the scene. I do most of my post­pro­cess­ing in Light­room – I re­moved a lit­tle bit of noise, light­ened up the skies and sharp­ened the pic­ture a lit­tle.”

COR­MORANT FISHER Geir olaf Gjer­den has ex­pertly shown the char­ac­ter of this pre-dawn scene by cap­tur­ing the sub­ject in thecon­text of the wider land­scape

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