"ARTIST'S PALETTE No 3"
When out looking for landscapes to create, I keep an eye on my immediate surroundings. You never know what you might come across and being prepared mentally for opportunities that present themselves is a fundamental key to creating a well rounded portfolio. Nature has more to offer than grand landscapes for those who carry a sense of 'awareness'.
When I created the image above, I was standing on the edge of the beaver pond down inside the depths of Red Rock Canyon State Park. It was a bright Winter day and I was trying to capture the essence of this area in landscape view when I happened to look down and notice the ice cavities frozen just under the water's surface. I spotted this pleasing formation a few feet out on the surface but knew that the ice was not thick enough to support my weight, so I attached my wide-angle zoom and camera to tripod, set camera to AF and Aperture Priority, set the camera plane to approximate level with the frozen surface, then spread the legs short and wide making the setup high enough to fit within the lens' close focus area. I then slid the whole affair out onto the ice. I could roughly see the framing on the monitor and using my remote trigger, I made a series of exposures while moving the setup around on the ice a little this way and that until I felt I had usuable images.
There have been several variations in color and a few B&W converstions since I first created this image back in 2011 and this version represents my updated skills in post work that I have acquired over the past several years. In this iteration, I have reduced the clarity to -30 in Lightroom 5 and made some intricate color adjustments, as well as dodging and burning some areas to enhance them. Though these colors are not close to the original, they are in keeping with my artistic inclinations.
I believe this image better highlights the shapes, details and textures evident throughout the scene without making it overly detailed as in the preivous version. Tampering with Nature in a non-destructive way has much appeal for me, and by combining the tools of my craft and my personal vision, I create work that I like while always keeping within the boundaries of chaos, yet retaining a healthy dose of reality.
Don't be afraid to experiment with your work. Every once in awhile, go back and create a new version of an old image. Don't be tempted to lean toward the first version. Many of my images have multiple versions and these variations extend the creative possiblities and reach of my artistic intent. Give it a try - you might be surprised and pleased with the end result.
Just a reminder that all artwork on my website is 20% off until December 31, 2014!!!