A Few Interesting Subjects on Prince William Sound

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Just a random collection of things that caught my attention over the course of the summer. And a demonstration of the difficulty in photographing things to achieve the same sense of awe/wonder/interest as being there in person.

1) Doomed from the day it sprouted. It's not uncommon to see these small trees growing on top of isolated rocks. With no place to sink deep roots there lifespan is limited. Some day the tree will get tall enough and the wind strong enough that the roots can't hold on and it will topple. This shot would have been more effective at high tide with water all around the base of the rock. But this is when we were there.
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2) Fireweed has a better chance. With a seasonal lifespan of just a few weeks it will run its course and be gone before the winter storms arrive with hurricane force winds. Another shot that likely would have been more effective at high tide.
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3) It's rare to catch sea otters out of water and get close enough to photograph. When I looked through the viewfinder and saw the contrast between the warm colors of the seaweed and the blue surroundings the otter became just a part of the overall image and less the primary subject. The blue sky above, blue water below, and fairly thick haze resulted in this totally blue BG with a nearly invisible horizon. The BG is a tree covered hillside and yellow weed covered shoreline a couple of miles away.
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4) This is a colony of sea anemones at low tide. They are hanging under a rock at the mouth of a reversing waterfall that drains a small lagoon. When I backed off far enough to include the fall and give a sense of the location the anemones were not really recognizable. Another case when it was beyond my skill/creativity to capture both the detail and the sense of place. A long ss might have been interesting here but I was shooting one handed from a kayak while holding onto the rocks against the strong flow of water.
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5) There are hundreds of tiny intertidal waterfalls around the Sound. Photographing them presents the dilemma of whether to shoot tight enough to emphasize the fall itself or to back off and capture the location and salt water aspect of it as in the next image.
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6) Same fall from a different perspective. Zoomed out with both feet and lens.
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7) This eagle was sitting in this dead/bleached tree that was upward of 150ft tall. In an attempt to capture the height of the tree I shot a series in portrait format all the way to the water's edge and stitched them together into something like a 5x1 ratio vertical image. The result was an underwhelming image of an ugly tree with a tiny eagle at the top. And it was a huge file. So I just kept the top frame instead.
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Butlerkid

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Sure wish I lived in such a target rich environment! LOL! Your photographic skills and ability to approach via water enable you to both enjoy and share this beautiful area!

1. Stunning. I wouldn't change a thing. In both this and #2, I think the low tide was an advantage......

2. Another beauty. Low tide allowed you to capture the layers of growth and colors...

3. I like the composition you chose, but long for a greater DOF so that the rock the otter is on and the rocks off to the left were more in focus. If the background shoreline is a couple of miles away, you might have been able to use even f8 and still thrown the background OOF. In this situation, try taking several images with different apertures.

4. Tough scene and you weren't in a stable position.

5. and 6. Both images work. #5 nicely shows the waterfall. I like the choice of SS and composition. #6 highlights the golden colored rocks, but also includes the brighter area on the right. Perhaps a vertical showing the lower rocks, waterfall and mountain above the waterfall might be nice.

7. I encountered many scenes like this in Alaska. Never did find a really pleasing composition! LOL! My best attempts were to make the eagle the subject....or the landscape. Images in between seemed to have too much landscape and not enough subject - or vice versa! LOL!
 
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Everything in the set is wonderful.

This shot [Photo #1] would have been more effective at high tide with water all around the base of the rock.
Another shot [Photo #2] that likely would have been more effective at high tide.
I would have to see both images made at high tide but I've really gotta wonder if I wouldn't prefer the images as is. The amazing characteristic of the first image is that if you cropped to include just the upper half of the rock and everything on top of it, the lack of scale might fool the viewer into thinking it's a really tall tree, at least at first glance.
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Sure wish I lived in such a target rich environment! LOL! Your photographic skills and ability to approach via water enable you to both enjoy and share this beautiful area!..
Thanks for the thoughtful comments on each image, Karen. Always appreciate your input. There will be plenty more of those bird on a stick opportunities to try and do something with. The delete button on my computer is well worn.
...I would have to see both images made at high tide but I've really gotta wonder if I wouldn't prefer the images as is...
Thanks for commenting, Mike. Yes one would have to see both to really compare. In addition to the surroundings changing with the high tide the perspective changes also. Both of the images in question were shot from the boat so at high tide the camera position would be 10-15ft higher. So BG would be different as well.
All lovely Dan!
Thanks, Binnur. Glad you enjoyed the post.
 
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Lovely set, esp #1
Thanks, Alex.
Very nice set. I actually prefer the first two as they are. For me, they would look less spectacular, less interesting, at high water.
Thanks, Ron. I guess it comes down to a sense of drama vs isolation. Certainly in both cases the image would be substantially different at high tide.
 
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