This shows what could be one of my favourite photos of the year (although it was taken last year but lets not split hairs). It has also spurred me on to fulfil one of my new year resolutions – to get out more with the camera and work on my photography. After all, I can’t write an outdoor blog without throwing in some decent shots can I?
I like a lot of David’s photographic work but this just stopped me dead in my surfing session and I even wheeled my chair back a foot and rested one hand on my chin on silent admiration. What do I like about it? It visualises Scotland perfectly – unpredictable weather, snow capped winter mountains and dishes out confirmation that we can, with a little planning, get lost in wilderness in this country. But most of all I love the colours and the lighting, look at the bottom half and it’s dark, out of sunlight and a little bleak. Then, the top half breaks out into this sunlit gateway, it’s almost a picture to match the phrase – ‘There is light at the end of the tunnel’, or ‘Keep going and you will reach your goal’. There’s only three predominant colours (black, blue and white) but they are all that’s needed to show off a wonderful area.
I also like the fact that we are told, in photography, that light makes the shot. This doesn’t necessarily mean that photos are better on a sunny day, it means we need to look at what light is doing around us and this photo captures the idea perfectly. Far from having abundant light, this scene actually has very little of it but that is exactly what makes it brilliant. The darker foreground is in fact, in light, just subdued and makes the perfect teaser to the peak bathed in pure sun light behind it and then fading away into the cloud to give an impression of what the weather is up to.
A really stormy, threatening, moody and inspiring shot.
(David Lintern – selfpowered.net)
This is what David had to say about it:
The photo was taken in the east of the Cairngorm National Park in December 2012, around midday. The crag lit up by the sun is the lower southern slopes of Cnap a Chleirich, sandwiched between Ben Avon and Beinn A Bhuird. We had walked just a little too far along the glen (I’m still learning the finer points of navigation in the snow) and needed to double back a couple of hundred yards. Shortly after we had turned back, the sun hit the slopes behind us. Aware of a change, I turned around and quickly reached for the camera. Within a minute or so it was all over. I love the unpredictability of taking photos outdoors!
Now for the (pretentious?) disclaimer, which hopefully doesn’t end up being a spoiler: The picture is ‘printed’ darker than the scene was at the time, in order to accentuate the sunlight and the midnight blues within the snowy landscape. There often isn’t much light in midwinter in the highlands, and this hopefully captures the mood. I used to believe in photographic realism until I really got the fact that all cameras lie and none are as sensitive to light as our own eyes are. Maybe I had to try a few different cameras to understand that they are all fundamentally a bit of a letdown. It’s total vanity to paraphrase Ansel Adams on this, but I’ll do it anyway and hope for your forgiveness: the capture (camera settings, composition, timing) is the score, the print (final product) is the performance. Borrowing some good ideas like this has given me a lot more freedom to express myself with a camera. The camera never takes the photo. There is no single point objective reality. I operate some pretty strict rules about what I allow myself to manipulate at the time and afterwards, depending on the environment, the atmosphere I’m trying to describe, and the type of photo it is. So, this may not be quite how it looked, but it is absolutely how it ‘felt’, at least to me. I hope you like it.
Camera – Canon EOS 5D Mark III
F Stop – F/11
Exposure – 1/50th Sec
ISO – 50
Focal length – 24mm