Thanksgving Point, Utah
This was one of those times where I combined two photos to make a more pleasing composition. Both were taken the same day, at the same place, but from a different perspective. I loved how the morning light was shining on this single water lily, but from the angle I wanted to shoot, there was nothing but boring, dark, murky water behind it. (For those who know my photography well, you know I rarely take nature photos with a plain background. In fact, I believe that an interesting background is one of the main parts of a composition that turns an average image into a great image.) Anyway, first I knelt down and composed my shot of the lily so it would appear in the bottom left hand corner of the frame. Then I stood up and composed an image of a patch of lilies that formed a diagonal and was a short distance behind my main subject lily. I locked focus on the main lily, then recomposed on the background patch of lilies so that they would appear soft and out of focus. I always shoot three bracketed shots; one set for a normal exposure, one set 1 stop over exposed and one set 1 stop underexposed. (My camera then takes all three shots automatically with one click of the shutter.) Camera settings were: 1/640 sec, f/6.4, 250 ISO and I was using a 200 mm lens handheld. When viewing all the shots at home on my computer, I found I liked the underexposed shots the best for two reasons; first and most important was that it made for a more dramatic and interesting image with the lily much lighter than the background, and second, it hid all the murky, ugly stuff under the surface of the water. Editing was simple. I combined the two in PS, cropped, sharpened, and added a bit of vibrance and contrast.