Wednesday, January 20, 2010
ART IN NATURE
Yesterday produced my favorite pictures of my trip to Antarctica. To me, the most exciting forms to photograph in nature are icebergs. The combination of aquamarine and deep blue along with the snow and ice is incredible, and the forms are out of this world. I have never seen icebergs as beautiful as the ones I shot yesterday. I was breathless in shooting them.
These pictures don't show how cold it was, or how the wind-driven rain made the experience less than comfortable. Once a wave washed over the bow of the zodiac, and I was in the front and received the brunt of the water. Not only did I get wet, but saltwater is certain death for any kind of electronics. I was mortified, fearing the worst and that my camera would stop functioning. Fortunately, though, everything was fine and I continued shooting.
Note that all of these pictures were taken with a 14mm ultra wide angle lens. I was very close to the icebergs -- just a few feet away. That's the secret in using a wide angle. Using the ice as a dominant foreground element made it disportionately large, and that gave the scene added drama. I was very glad that the weather was overcast, because the blue colors of the compressed ice and the amazing colors in the water were more intense in the soft light.
This is the opposite of what you might think. Had the sun been out, the contrast would have been too harsh. Shadows would have been very dark and the highlights on the ice might have blown out ... meaning complete overexposure with no texture or detail. That's the last thing you want in a picture.