In part 3 of this Behind the Lens series I want to stress the importance of a thoughtful composition. I was on my way to a state park when I decided to make a quick stop at this familiar location. The sun was beginning to rise above the farm field, and rather than waste the good light pushing through the fog, I planned to grab what I could. For the initial shot, I set up the tripod and took a quick one by the edge of the road; the internal pressure of getting to a planned destination corrupts moments like these. For the sake of expediency, my first thought was, "got it,... time to move on." However, it only took a brief glance at the LCD to know that I didn't get, and this would simply be just another wasted image if I didn't choose to commit to the process.
To make the posted photograph, I had to abandon the immediacy of the moment. Rather than give in to an arbitrary deadline, I climbed down from the road and into a ditch of water where I could position myself along the edge of the barbed-wired fence. The angle of the wire is important here as it serves as a leading line which draws the viewer into the photograph. The two trees to the right are the focal point for the image as the edge of the pond curves to point towards them. In addition, the pair of bent fence posts strengthen the apparent importance of the trees by leaning in their general direction. The rising sun posed a problem, as there was not enough fog to soften the intensity of the rays. My solution was to position the tripod in a way that caused the trees to scatter the sun's intense light. Finally, the choice to process this as a trichromatic image was made later after looking at the photograph on a computer. The warmth of the sunrise is captured by the colored foreground grasses, while the darkness of night is retained by the intense contrast between the blacks and whites.
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