Every once in a while, I like to find photos that are amazingly different, and caught on the digital memory cards by photographers who just happen to be at the right place at the right time. I am posting these photos because they are natural photos, not fixed in post-production like a lot of strange photos you might expect. So, that is what makes these photos special. Full explanation of how these photos came to be are attached with each photo, so you can really enjoy the photo to it’s fullest. So, with that, here is part 2 of the Interesting photos:
When a photographer’s expertise meets nature’s excellence, the outcome is truly out of this world. Take a look at the image below by photographer Nahaniel Merz and you’ll understand what I mean. The image that he took at Wolchulsan National Park in South Korea is so close to perfect that you might question the place’s actual existence:
The way the golden light is falling on the mountain, and the way Merz has composed this image, it looks like the landscape is a computer render. The colorful flowers in the foreground that stand out from the green foliage, and the reddish glow on the mountain with the colorful sky, all blend with each other flawlessly. He has indeed captured the scene beautifully.
Doesn’t it look like an image straight out of a fairy tale? Imagine what an experience it would be to witness such a beautiful landscape. Hats off to the photographer. No doubt he has captured Korea’s extraordinary beauty.
Slot canyons are interesting land forms. From a photographer’s perspective, it’s the way the sun rays enter them that adds drama to the scene. It appears as if the sun is creeping into the canyons, thereby creating interesting patterns of light and shadows. Photographer Tristan Todd was in the southwest coast of Vancouver island when the setting sun lined up with a slot canyon and created this dreamy effect:
The image is a 0.8-second single exposure that Todd took at 14mm, f/5, and ISO 100. When Todd visited the place it was quite cloudy and rainy, yet the break of the sun on that particular day allowed him to take this beautiful image.
“Longer exposures really help with spray because the water particles are much larger and less dense compared to something like a fog.”
As Todd took this image from inside the canyon slot, the sun rays breaking into the darkness adds a sense of hope and warmth in the image. As if he was lost in the cave for some time and found an escape. And the way he has edited this image, it almost looks like a scene straight out of a video game.
Not every sunset photograph needs clouds to display the beauty of the disappearing light and warm tones. A striking foreground emphasizes the highlights and shadows cast by the last of that day’s sunlight. In this photograph, dead wood sets the scene for a gorgeous sunset in British Columbia:
TritonTheDark shot this photograph of the West Dyke Trail in British Columbia was shot using a Nikon D750 with a Nikon 14-24mm lens. There’s a noticeable absence of clouds in this shot, a popular staple of sunset photography. This photographer effectively used his highly appealing foreground and radiant sunlight to frame a gorgeous sunset. He had this to say about the process:
“I do composites for panoramas, focus stacking, noise reduction, median stacking, controlling effective length of exposure and finally for fixing landscape trailing when using my equatorial mount. My goal when processing is to complement the composition and draw the viewer into the image, to help make them feel what I felt when I was observing the scene.”
Sometimes you have to travel far and wide—and in this case very, very high—to get the perfect shot:
Photographer Rajiv Sankarlall had the privilege of traveling to Himachal Pradesh, India to live as the monks do for a month. After getting over a pretty bad case of altitude sickness, he spent his time hiking around and photographing the amazing sights of the Himalayas. This amazing shot of a yak was taken in Spiti Valley, India at an altitude of about 12,000 feet.
Camera Equipment and Settings
- Nikon D90
- Lens: Rokinon 14mm Wide Angle
- Aperture: f/9
- Shutter Speed: 1/2000
- ISO: 250
Beautiful landscapes alone don’t always make a mesmerizing image. Additional natural elements like clouds, mist, rain, snow among others sometimes do just enough to make the image feel enchanted. The following image that astrophotographer Abdul Dremali took when he was in Switzerland is a beautiful example of this:
The image is a half-second exposure that Dermali took with his Sony A7RIII with a 70-200mm f/4 lens. The half second-exposure makes good sense for a landscape shot considering the low light condition.
“This fog had been following me around for days starting from Strasbourg and into the heart of Switzerland. I finally managed to get above it, and watch it creep into the village below.”
There’s no doubt that this image is a perfect amalgamation of a stunning weather condition and a beautiful composition. The thick fog over the village appears no less than a sea of clouds leading right up to the base of the beautiful mountain in the background. As beautiful as the background is, even the foreground is quite captivating.
The little visibility that there is in the foreground has added a better sense of drama to the image. While you might get a dreamy feeling out of it, others may find it spooky. And the warm lights popping through the thick white fog is just perfect. It adds so much life to the image.
How would you feel living in a place like that?
Photography is about atmosphere. Creating an emotional response is as important as creating a coherent image: shapes of legs, a street, cars, a dangling pair of high heels. Here, we see those things, but it’s their abstraction by silhouette and bokeh that emit a feeling of danger, seduction and mystery:
Photographer Piotr Powietrzynski has made a name for himself with such abstractions of humanity. He rarely shows us the full body of his subjects, preferring instead to cloak them in shadows or behind curtains. Here, on top of that, he capitalizes on the recent rainfall to enhance his cityscape: the reflections and glare add to the image’s ambience in a way that dry concrete never could.
Cenotes and the Mayan community have a special connection. Maya people believe that cenotes are gateways to the underworld. And for this reason, they perform some special ceremonies in cenotes. Today, we can see some of those performances being done for tourism, but the religious values are still intact. Photographer and filmmaker Guillermo Alarcon took the following image in Suytun Cenote and the timing is absolutely magical
“Cenotes were and still are partially sacred to the Maya people. They were seen as gateways to the underworld and portrayed throughout history as inner sacred sanctums.”
Alarcon took this image with his Sony A7RIII. While the get-up of he Maya people is something to talk about, the sunbeam working as a spotlight steals the show. The dance which is timed to line up with the sun’s position above the small opening to the cenote allowed him to capture this perfect photograph.
Architecture is very representative of how complex and rich a civilization was during a certain period in history. The Sun and Moon pagodas that stand tall and proud by the side of the Fir Lake in Guilin in China indeed seem to have a lot to show off. Besides being architectural marvels, they also combine art, religion, technology, and natural landscape. Photographer Nathan Ackley took the following image of the Sun pagoda superimposing the Moon pagoda, and the result is truly mesmerizing:
If you visit these pagodas, you’ll realize that there is in fact a good distance between them. However, since Ackley used a 200mm lens to take this image, the compression has made the Moon pagoda appear closer.
What really sets the mood in this image is the timing. Ackley took the image at night when the lights in these pagodas are turned on; an ideal time to truly witness the beauty of these marvels. The bronze used in the Sun pagoda gives it a warm look while the colored glaze in the Moon pagoda gives it a cooler look. Such contrasting tonalities together have given a well balanced feel to this beautiful image.
Smartphone cameras have come a very long way. So much that in the hands of a skilled photographer, the results are almost indistinguishable at a glance. Phone cameras have improved so much that you can use manual controls just like in your camera. This has opened the floodgates to some really creative photography. Take the following image for example. Photographer Adrian Mechocki who specializes in long exposure photography, took the image just using his smartphone:
Mechocki took the image with his phone, the Asus Zenfone 6 and yet the image is simply spectacular. Had he not revealed the details, nobody would have ever guessed that this was taken with a smartphone camera. To take this image, he moved some LED fiber optic lights and lasers while the subject posed perfectly still.
“I did light traces effects by moving the LED lights in the air for a few minutes. The duration depends on what I want to achieve, and it differs on every photo.”
We come across images taken with the light painting technique a lot. But, we must admit that very few of them appear this interesting. What’s impressive is that the faded green lights make you think of a soul leaving the body. It’s a really a neat thought brought out by this
Located in western Colorado, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a popular tourist attraction that offers some of the steepest cliffs and craggiest spires in the entire United States. Carved out of solid granite, the breathtaking beauty of this scenic adventure is definitely not an exaggeration. From the dark canyon walls to the awe-inspiring 2,700 foot plunge into the Gunnison River, the Black Canyon is a photographer’s dream:
Captured by Aryeh Nirenberg, this amazing image is actually a mixture of 20 different shots taken from the Pulpit Rock Overlook using a Nikon D750. Each photo was shot with a Sigma 20 mm f/1.4 lens, 6400 ISO, and a 20 second exposure. Nirenberg later merged the different photographs using AutoPano Giga software to create a wide angle panorama.
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.