The creativity of some photographers is beyond belief. It is well for us to see what amount of work it takes to create some of the interesting photos some photographers will go to, to create amazing photos. Here are just a few photos that we thought you would enjoy.
LONELY TREE UNDER THE STARS:
The possibilities with long exposure photography are only limited by your own creativity. Like a painter can paint almost anything with his brush, the light painting technique with long exposure opens up similar opportunities for a photographer. Just think of darkness as your canvas, and the light sources as your paint. Photographer Mikael Persson took the following image of a lonely tree lit with really tiny light sources, and the result is quite interesting:
The image is a 30-second long exposure that Persson took with his Sony a6000. He used the Sigma 16mm lens at f/1.4 and ISO 100 to take this image. And as for the lighting on the tree, it was lit with smartphone lights. Can you believe it?
“I actually put 2 phones underneath the tree with each flashlight turned on & facing the tree.”
By lighting the tree from the base, Persson has achieved quite an interesting look in the final image. As expected, the parts of the tree nearer to the light appear bright and the brightness recedes as we move towards the top. The upper half of the tree that’s in complete darkness appears like the tree’s own shadow that got cast on the sky.
And another very interesting aspect of the image definitely has to be the background. The dark sky with hundreds of stars makes for brilliant scenery in this image – there’s the single life form amongst so many fireballs.
EARLY MORNING CANYONLANDS:
When out to photograph the sunrise, the window of time slightly before and after the sun actually rises matters a lot. The same principle applies when photographing sunset. Those are the points in time when the real magic happens. Since the light changes rapidly during those periods, you can expect to witness some drama in the clouds and the landscapes. Photographer Dylan Knight was glad that he stayed back for some time after sunrise at Dead Horse Point State Park:
Knight took the image with his Nikon D810 and 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. The most interesting aspect that sticks out in this image has to be the composition. He has beautifully composed the image by including compelling foreground and background elements to draw viewers into the image. The patterns on the rocks in the foreground, and the cloud trails formed due to long exposure really work together to form some compelling leading lines.
“Sometimes it pays to stick around after sunrise.”
And since it was just after sunrise, you can see in the mid-ground that not all the rocky formations are equally lit. The light and shadow patterns add further interest to the mid-ground perfectly balancing the amazing foreground and background.
THE CLOUDS PARTED RIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE:
It’s amazing how much photography can inspire us. Every image created can provide a different perspective for others, leading them to create their own special masterpieces. Unfortunately, not every photo shoot begins successfully. But Portland based landscape photographer Steve Schwindt learned the valuable lesson that what starts off as disappointment can eventually lead to breathtaking results:
After carefully watching the weather forecasts and wanting to capture the wildflowers near Mount St. Helens, Schwindt and his wife took a trip for a nice relaxing photo shoot. Regrettably, it didn’t quite work out the way he had planned. Once they arrived, between the fog and rain, they could barely see 10 feet in front of themselves.
Due to the weather (and a little bit of indecision), the couple decided to wait it out to see if things got better in time for a sunrise shoot. At first glance, it didn’t seem promising. When the duo woke up at 4:30 AM, there were still clouds across the sky. However, after spotting a couple other photographers, Schwindt decided to head up the trail to Loowit Lookout. Fortunately for everyone, about five minutes before sunrise, the clouds parted creating the perfect Mount St. Helens backdrop for his daisy shoot, proving yet again that patience and perseverance are often the key to success.
- Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
- Background: ISO 100, 1/60 of a second, f/11, 17 mm
- Flowers (8 Exposures for clarity and focus): ISO 500, 1/10 of a second, f/9, 17 mm
CAMEL CARAVAN IN THE DESERT:
Drone photography has become more popular in recent years because of advances made in technology and accessibility to the equipment. Some photographers have embraced this new wave of image capturing that allows them to photograph immense portions of land from above. It used to be a view that was left to helicopters and planes. The exciting part about drones is that there is an essentially untapped perspective of photography that was less available just ten years ago:
Photographer Hanbing Wang captured this photo of a camel caravan trekking across the desert and entered it into SkyPixel’s photo contest. He ended up winning first prize in the Professional Beauty category. The competition was open to professional or amateur photographers and split into three categories: Beauty, 360, and Drones in Use.
Subtle waves on the dunes hint at the journey this caravan must take across the ocean of sand. The drone’s bird’s eye view works well here with the sun beating down on the travelers. His photograph displays the stunning detail of each hoof print and the ripples that surround them. Excellent shot, Hanbing!
VENICE AT SUNSET:
When somebody mentions Venice, what is the first thing that you think of? Most likely you’re picturing the canals flowing through the city, the rich architecture, and the gondolas right? Well, that’s how any traveler would think of the place. When photographer Michael Sidofsky was around Venice, he captured the following image which really showcases the essence of this beautiful city. If you don’t look close enough, you could even mistake it for a painting:
Sidofsky took this image from the Rialto bridge with his NIkon D750 and the 70-200 f/2.8 lens.
The beautiful combination of light and shadows is what makes this image appear so magical. The golden light has set the perfect mood to this image. The appearance is so “soft and cozy” that it feels as if an artist has delicately and skillfully painted the beautiful buildings.
The gondola in the foreground is yet another point of attraction in this image. Including it in the frame has added a sense of relevance to the image. And if you look carefully, you can anticipate that Sidofsky must have waited patiently for the gondolier to pass across the building’s reflection on the water. This has created more of a silhouette and emphasized the subject. This is indeed a very well-composed image by the photographer.
CANNON BEACH PATTERNS:
Cannon beach in Oregon never fails to make it to the list of best beaches of the world. Besides the sandy and gorgeous shoreline, Haystack rock is another wow factor of this place. When you see it, you get to feel how majestic it really is. Photographer Nathaniel Merz took the following image of the place during sunset, and it surely gives you a hint of how beautiful the beach really is:
Merz took the image with his Canon 5D mark IV and the 24-105mm f/4 lens. The interesting patterns on the sand with the sun-kissed dune grass together make for an interesting foreground. The golden glow from the setting sun has really done its magic making even the grass appear interesting. And how can we miss the Haystack rock crowning the sandy beach and standing tall in the background. The dramatic evening sky with a purple tint set as the backdrop to the ocean and the Haystack rock adds to the overall aesthetic of the image.
RADIANT FLOWERS IN DARKNESS:
A dramatic Icelandic sky never fails to mesmerize. And then when someone adds a foreground subject as beautiful as this, it becomes even more breathtaking:
Albert Dros shot this photo in Iceland. The bright white and yellow daisies form a stunning contrast to the darkness of the gray clouds and the overall dark palette of the scene
The photo inspires many a metaphor. Hope, surviving against odds, the silver lining, courage
How far would you go to get a great photograph? Most of us would draw the line at being anywhere near an active volcano. However, the amazing results photographer Fabian Weber managed to capture almost makes the idea worth toying with.
Pictured here is Volcan de Fuego, a stratovolcano in Guatemala famous for near-constant activity at a low level. During the day, it’s difficult to see much more than the steady stream of smog and ash wafting out of the mountain’s vents. But, as night approaches, glowing red-hot magma shines brightly through the darkness.
Using a Fuji X-Pro1, the photographer really managed to drive home the liveliness of the area. A 30-second exposure captured streaks of lava sputtering midair and climbing down the slopes of the mountain. Luckily, none of it presents an immediate danger to the people inhabiting the surrounding area.
With that being said, Weber was able to make this image without putting himself in too much peril. A neighboring dormant volcano provided him with this great vantage point and a safe place to sleep for the night. Nevertheless, the angry boiling earth we see in this photograph is a powerful reminder of just how forceful and unforgiving nature can be.
NEW ZEALAND SUMMER STORM:
How many times do you look at a landscape shot and think about how calm everything looks? Other times, you can see the action, whether it be wind, animals, or cloud coverage moving across the image. In this case, the purple flowers calmly stand in unison as the dark clouds approach from the once illuminated skies above. The last rays of sunshine can be seen poking through behind them. As the viewers’ eyes move up the image, the storm cloud draws nearer to the peace below it. This photographer expertly captured the difference between the scene on the ground and the one above it:
Landscape photographer Will Patino ventured out into a New Zealand storm to set up his equipment and capture this stunning shot of a field of lupine before the flowers were destroyed by the weather. The menacing clouds bearing down on the plants contrast beautifully with the graceful, vibrant nature of the foreground.
When shooting landscapes, a little drama can never hurt. According to Patino, this storm quickly moved past the nearby mountain range, bringing with it hail, lightning, and echoing thunder. Would you dive into the frenzy to attempt a shot like this or run for cover?
BLOOD RED CACTI:
For photographers based in the desert, taking pictures of cacti likely becomes second nature. Without a doubt, Arizona-based photographer Eric Noeske has seen his fair share of the wild succulent. However, with today’s interesting photo, he managed to shine a new light on the familiar subject.
Here’s how he did it. Likely inspired by a striking night sky filled with both stars and clouds, Noeske ventured out with his Pentax K-1 to make a few images. Utilizing the natural desert shrubbery as foreground material, he set up his gear and composition.
In order to capture the sky in a single exposure, Noeske had to keep his camera’s shutter open for a full 30 seconds. However, he found that he wanted just a touch of additional light to highlight the shapes happening in the foreground.
In order to do that without impacting the sky, he shined his phone’s flash at the scene. Initially, he covered the light with his fingertip, intending to precisely control just how much light reached the scene. What Noeske didn’t immediately realize was that some of the light was still able to travel through his finger, creating a reddish light that would normally require a gel filter to attain.
Sometimes, getting an eye-catching image is all about embracing our happy accidents!
SNOWY NIGHT IN TORONTO:
Beautiful weather makes for a good photo. That’s true, but, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t take good photos during unfavorable conditions. In fact, so-called bad weather can be a new window of opportunity to take interesting photos. Take the following photograph for instance. It was taken by photographer Michael Sidofsky in Toronto during a blizzard :
Sidofsky took this image with his Nikon D750, and his Nikon 24-70mm lens at f/2.8, 1/200s, and ISO 6400.
What’s quite interesting about this shot is the way the streetcar stands out from the rest of the scene. While everything else appears pale, covered in snow, the red of the streetcar dominates the image making it stand out. Thanks to the snow, there’s almost a halo around the vehicle caused by the diffused lights. This adds further interest to the image.
Don’t cancel your plans to go out for a shoot just because the weather’s gone bad. This image is a perfect example of unfavorable weather being in your favor for a beautiful image.
SALT LAKE CITY FOG:
There is a golden rule in landscape and nature photography. Leave home before sunrise and come back long after sundown. These two extremes ensure that you capture both the Golden Hour and the Blue Hour. This image by Hansi Photo sums up this rule perfectly:
To capture this stunning photo, Hansi Photo hiked through waist deep snow to the top of some mountains in Emigration Canyon just in time for sunset.
The picture captures a common phenomenon known as inversion. It’s basically smog—but of the worse kind. A large city like Salt Lake City in Utah has a lot of vehicular and industrial pollution. Surrounded by mountains, this valley almost transforms into a pot with cold air getting trapped by warm air.
The situation gets worse during winter. Pollution fills in and the air becomes suspended, rendering it unbreathable. The image however, captures none of the seriousness of the problem, but everything that is stunningly aesthetic about the scene. Looks, as they say, can be deceiving!
LONG EXPOSURE AT SHIBUYA CROSSING:
Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo has to be one of the most identifiable landmarks of the city. If you are in Tokyo, don’t forget to visit this scramble intersection that you can find just outside Shibuya station. A remarkable feature of the crossing is that you can see hundreds of people pouring across the street from all directions. This makes this iconic spot one of the top photographed intersections in the world. Photographer Mark Rosal got extremely lucky when photographing the Shibuya Crossing when he captured the following shot:
Rosal took the image with his Canon 5D mark III and a 24-70mm f 2.8 lens. The image is a 1.3 second exposure at 27mm, f/10, and ISO 200. Since he had no tripod with him when taking this long exposure, he had to place his camera on top of some machinery.
As in most low light shots at the crossing, you can notice the ghostly effect on the crowd due to motion blur. However, the girl on the right appears sharp. Since she too seems to be taking a photograph, she appears stationary. This has made her instantly draw the viewers’ attention. Interestingly, when composing the image, Rosal didn’t realize that she was in the frame. He was pleasantly surprised when reviewing the shots that he’d taken.
“I showed her the picture after I took it. She didn’t speak English but she smiled really big when she saw it.”
The lighting on the girl is also pretty dramatic making her stand out in the image. She’s well lit from her left, and she also has a nice street light source lighting her hair from the opposite side.
How crazy is it that he was able to capture this interesting image by “accident”?