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on Apr 27, 2011 in Landscape Photography

Alabama Hills and the Fish

One of the great fun things I like to do at the Alabama Hills is looking for shots for the 16Fish. This will sound really bad, but I look for balls most of the time. Here’s a new one I found this morning (I usually find only 1 new 1 per trip). To make it work, you of course first need a fisheye lens. Then you need to find a rock that is partially lit. If fully lit then you have a flat wall, not a round ball. You must have some shading on the side to give the illusion of roundness. Lastly you have to have a great background. To make this shot, I had my butt in the air as I kissed the dirt to get the angle to make the shot. I tilted the lens back to capture the white wisps of clouds you see in the top, right corner which to me, make the whole shot.

And this is the “ball” rock from the side. Looks nothing like the finished photo, does it?

The other thing I look for with the Fish in the Hills are the vast landscapes where the curve of the Fish isn’t a major distraction. I’m not as lucky with this venture as finding balls. That’s probably in part because in my mind, I don’t have a formula to make the shot. When I see certain things like clouds and light, my mind tends to grab hold of those elements and then search for the rest of the elements I like to assemble in certain type of photographs. I don’t have that yet for this type of photo, darn it!

I was quite pleased when I found this one though. This is not only a good example of how I like to use the Fish in the Hills but also how Structure in Silver Efex Pro 2 effects clouds. Look at the color image and then the B&W. See how Structure gives the clouds, structure? I can understand photographers in the process of learning wanting a recipe to follow for images they like and want to duplicate. The problem is, there can be no recipe when you have such huge variables like light and clouds. And these are just two of the hundreds of variables that confront photographers. Once again I hope my images have done their job and invited you in. Even more, I hope they have grabbed your imagination and make you want to come to these amazing hills at the foot of Mt Whitney. There are not only great photos in your future if you do, but a lot of learning that will propel your photography forward!

Photos captured by D3x, 16Fish on Lexar UDMA digital film