January 19

7 comments

Breaking the Rules!

By Dan

January 19, 2011


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Here’s an image that I shot about two months ago, before all that white stuff fell on Southcentral Alaska. I shot it at ISO 2500 with my Nikon D700 and 14mm f2.8 lens, which I love for low light situations, because you can get pretty slow with the shutter speed and still get sharp images.

I like it because even though it’s got some real technical problems, namely that the trail runner’s legs are all but lost in shadow, it has kind of a cool feel.

But who cares? I like it anyway. Sometimes you just need to break the rules, shoot for the moment and see what happens. I knew that I was going to lose the legs, and I knew that if I brought up the shadows in Lightroom, the whole impact of the image would suffer because it’s the deep shadow that adds drama.

Plus, we know what a trail runner’s legs look like, so by abbreviating the subject matter and focusing on the upper body and swinging ams, we know that she’s running. We don’t need to see legs to proove that. Besides, this photo is as much about environment as it is the runner, so those kinds of details don’t really matter as much as mood, feel and place.

Let me know what you think.

About the author

Hi, I'm Dan Bailey, a 20+ year pro outdoor and adventure photographer, and official FUIJIFILM X-Photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.


As a top rated blogger and author my goal is to help you become a better, more confident and competent photographer, so that you can have as much fun and creative enjoyment as I do.

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  • I must be a really good rule breaker Dan lol 😉 I like the shot. I’m a way more mood/emotional driven photographer than I am technical. Great post!

  • I like this image too, though I agree about the legs. Maybe you could burn them just a touch so they are a wee bit more apparent. Not too much! The darkness underscores how very early in the morning this was–though in Alaska I guess that depends on the time of year. 😛

  • Dan,

    For me the ideal version would be just enhancing the rim light on the legs. I see there is already a bit of that in your first version. All of that black space also offers potential licensors the option of room for copy and such.

    Thanks!

    John

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    Terry Bourk

    I have read you new book “Behind the Landscape.” I could not “put it down” meaning that I kept at it because each photo you presented/analyzed was interesting and informative. I am trying to develop an eye for composition (both the scene and the light).

    Thank you! The examples you present and the suggestions are very helpful. Purple Mountains, McKinley River and Wonder Lake are fascinating.


    Roger Sinclair

    You have done it again! Another triumph.

    Your generosity to share, the clarity of thought and concise explanation thereof is brilliant. Perhaps I should also mention the beautiful photos and the talent necessary to produce them.

    Thank you, Dan.