With this post, I would like to share a photograph created by my dear friend Annick Jaquillard during our road trip to Southwestern Oklahoma. She will tell you in her own words a bit about how she created this image.
"The Great Gig In The Sky"
"On this morning, Thomas and I found ourselves on the beach of Lake Altus-Lugert once again. Unlike the previous morning, we had clear skies this time, so we were anticipating the glorious spectacle of the rising Sun. I tried once again to 'engage in a conversation' with the celestial body. I wished to capture its colorful rays with all of my technical abilities that are now driven by instinct. I enjoy savoring the shoot in all of its aspects, so I always attempt to put myself into a certain mood of contemplation concerning my subject.
I was not aware that Thomas knew exactly where the Sun would rise (he checked The Photographer's Ephemeris and then failed to tell me), so not knowing where it would rise made my choice of composition more difficult. A few test shots at twilight gave me an idea of where to set up. I chose a view of the beach, where I would have three to four compositional elements within the scene.
I live in the small town of Nyon, Switzerland, which is located on the shores of Lake Geneva. I have an affinity for the embrace of Sunrise on water because of where I live, and because of this affinity, I have a deep love for water and its surfaces. I felt right at home on this beach.
With this photograph, I was graced with the rays of the Sun creating a beautiful, golden glow on the surface of the lake. This image was the third capture in a series of long exposures on this morning. This photograph would prove to be the definitive image. I hope that you all enjoy this piece.
I spent two weeks with Thomas, while he dragged me around to some of his favorite places to photograph. This episode was a phenomenal experience as a person, and as a photographer. As I am usually a solitary photographer, I enjoyed Thomas' companionship immensely. I took great pleasure in discovering his talent and dedication to photography, and his great sense of humor. I look forward to our next expedition in the Spring, when I will have the opportunity to show him some of my country." - Annick Jaquillard
Canon EOS 6D/Canon 17-40/4 EF-L @ 17 mm. ISO 200 @ f/22 @ 45 seconds, B+W 1.8 ND Filter. Processed in Lightroom 4.
This image was captured on the previous morning from Annick's photograph above. The weather had been damp and drizzly the night before. There was a chill in the air, and as this morning progressed, fog would roll in and shroud the lake in mystery. I love conditions like this, because you just never know what you will walk away with in the way of images.
There were slow moving clouds in the sky, which meant that the exposure would have to be longer than I anticipated in order to create the effect that I wanted. The wind was blowing a bit of spray from the shoreline, so I was constantly wiping my filter front to keep it clean. Once we realized that there would be no color in the sky and on the lake, other than blues and whites, instinct told me that I would convert the final image to B&W. In the end, the color image was lifeless and devoid of enough color contrast to make it work, so my instincts were correct.
Nikon D200/Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24/4 DX ASPH @ 12 mm. ISO 100 @ f/16 @ 65 seconds, Formatt-Hitech IRND 1.8 ND Filter. Processed entirely in Lightroom 4 and Topaz B&W Effects 2.
I will now be using Lightroom 5 for all future processing. This version has some great new tools, and the others have been updated for better functionality over the older ones.
I would like to thank Annick for allowing me to share her work and story with this post. We will do this again in a future post. Hope you enjoyed these images and look forward to hearing comments.
Until next time, good light and good shooting - Thomas