Landscape photography is on of the more difficult styles of the art form. Much preparation and work goes into capturing a photo that often might not even work out. At times it doesn’t seem worth it. Alongside preparation, there’s landscape composition, which is made up of two elements of interest, foreground and background. Foreground interest is what your frame is focused on, whether it is a rock or a tree, it’s the main focal point of the photograph. The second element is the background interest. This is typically the sky, but it can be something like water or a mountain range as well. Over the years, I’ve learned that regardless of the location, there is always a way to find a good frame for a photo, you just need to know where to look and have the patience to know that you will most likely fail the first few times.
I spent last week in Rehoboth Deleware. My main goal for the trip was to wake up every morning and shoot the sunrise over the ocean. On my fifth day, I ended up with an unexcpected composition.
I awoke at 4:45 and headed out the door. The weather was desolate and covered in clouds. I knew that I wouldn’t want to drive to the shoreline just to be greeted by a colorless sunrise, but I was already up, so I headed into the town of Rehoboth and went straight to the shore. I learned two things that morning. Parking is free in the city before 8:00AM (Sweet), and the shores closer to Rehoboth have decommissioned wooden jetties. I walked along the shore for a while until I found the perfect jetty. It was a long outstretched wooded structure sitting perfectly between the tides highest advance point and lowest receded point. Up the sides of the supports ran thin green moss, which popped in beautiful contrast with the rest of the frame. I framed the jetty into the center of my frame, so the lead in lines would take the viewers focus into the center of the frame and up to the sky. The only issue that I had was that there was no background interest in the sky; it was just a sea of dull gray overcast. Frustrated, I began to look around for other photo ideas. There was an asortment of shells to the side of my composition of which I could have used to get the stereotypical and so called "artsy" beach photo, but I wasn’t too interested. Just as I was about to pack up my camera and head back to the house, I noticed that the clouds behind my composition could make for interesting background interest as long as they continued to move east and into my frame. I reset my camera and waited for the wind current to move them into the picture. The clouds were moving rather quickly, so timing was key. At this point, the sun was over the horizon, but not entirely visible due to cloud cover. By the time the storm clouds reached the frame, the sun was high enough to shine through the clouds, giving them a vivid glow that tears through the center of the frame. I managed to snap two photos before they were too far-gone and out of frame. I walked back to my car knowing that I got a good photograph, which in landscape photography is a rare, yet great feeling.
Until next time! - Evan