Issue 5 - June 2012
Welcome to Issue 5 of the Chasing the Light eZine.
This month I’m shooting in the hill country of Sri Lanka for Behind the Lens, ruminating on the intricacies of focusing on wrinkly peasants the world over and spending quality time with one of the oldest life forms on the planet. The composition tutorial zig zags through Umbria; we’ve the Low Down on full colour and in the Guest Feature Paul Sanders continues his analysis of the world of newspaper photography. I’m writing this now in a field in Emilia Romagna after a 4am rise for a vigil on a hill top waiting for the dawn light on San Leo that never came. We’ll try again tomorrow, it’s what we do.
You can be sure as an f11 member of a non-stop stream of images, practical information and stories from behind the lens right here.
I should know by now after all these years of travel; always eat the local fare. The chicken sandwich ordered in my jet lag fug was a big mistake; I'm now eyeing Darshana's rice and curry enviously. I end up shamelessly raiding his accompaniments; I'd forgotten how good Sri Lankan food is.
I think I've photographed Preci from every angle possible, but I'm sure there are more options to be explored. Think of your quintessential Umbrian village perched on a hillside above the verdant Valnerina with the mountains of Monti Sibillini rearing above and you get the picture
The task is quite simple; to focus the lens. It's easy, look through the lens, rotate the focus barrel until the image in the eyepiece appears sharp and it's done. Or, using auto focus, lightly dab the shutter release to activate the system and let the camera do the rest. Both of these approaches work fine 90% of the time for average situations, but we photographers don't take average pictures, and I know from talking to our ilk on countless workshops many of us struggle with achieving sharp focus.
The water is flat calm reflecting like a mirror in perfect symmetry the colours of the maples on the opposite bank against a deep blue autumn sky. A polarising filter is saturating the colours further, and a 0.6 neutral density graduate laid along the water line balances perfectly the exposure top and bottom.
News photography is a largely male dominated industry, I'm not sure why, probably historical? But those women that are working in the media are, in my opinion, more talented than their male counterparts.
There is a giant cedar tree on Meares Island that was a sapling when Rome ruled supreme. To stand beside one of the oldest and largest life forms on earth is a unique experience.