#WEXMONDAYS Get The shot – “Magnificent Gran Canaria”
This is a brief write up for my “Magnificent Gran Canaria” shot that was entered into the #WexMondays Twitter competition last week (WEEK 24).
For me, its all about the light. With that in mind my priority with pretty much any landscape shot is to make sure I am in the right place at the right time, in order to capture the most dramatic lighting possible. Of course, being in this situation can very easily occur with luck too, so you have to be ready to snap at a moments notice. This happened to be the case for the photograph in question. I was on the way to find the perfect location for this rather popular shot: Roque Bentayga & Roque Nublo, Gran Canaria, when I saw this amazing sight which I had to capture. The light was so dramatic and the extreme scale of some of the rocks, made for a spectacular landscape! It wasn’t so much the time of day giving me the perfect light but rather the sun was providing light from the perfect angle relative to where I happened to be at that moment. This produced really dramatic and contrasting rim lighting on the rugged rock faces and on the soft vibrant green plants populating the less harsh slopes.
It’s true, we can’t control the weather, but we can always prepare ourselves for these lucky shots. And its even easier to target our photography to be done during the golden hours of the morning and evening.
Where was it taken?
This photograph was taken near Tajada, in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. I was staying on the island to race in the Trans Grancanaria Marathon. What an amazing experience that was! I got to see so much of the island, it almost felt like a photography scouting adventure. The race actually helped me spot viewpoints for some of my other photographs of the island.
It couldn’t have been easier to set up the tripod and camera for this one as it was clearly visible from the roadside.
Why this Image?
I chose this shot for Wex Mondays as I felt it to be eye catching and different from a lot of images out there at the moment. I always try to let light dictate the focal point and direction in which my photographs take, right through from snapping to image processing. I believe everything else should follow that. Maybe its an occupational hazard of being the Visual Effects Lighting Supervisor at Aardman Animations for Commercials and film, where I get to control Light everyday. I have a lot of fun playing god in that respect 🙂 It also seems that a lot of macro images are favourable with the judges at the moment so I was hoping to get landscape photography a bit more visibile at the top again.
I spent about an hour processing this image in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. On this particular day there was a lot of sand in the air blown in from the Sahara; what the locals call “Calima”. This produced a bit of a washed out original image but it also gave the landscape a greater sense of depth. So I knew that later, by playing with contrast and gamma I would be able to keep the depth of the atmosphere but also bring out a far richer range of tones over all. In photoshop I like to overlay various grades and patch them into certain areas of the image to draw focus and enhance interesting features. Landscape photography for me is a blend of what your camera can capture for you and your imagination. Some people can be afraid of image processing or maybe even anti it. If the final image is eye catching and makes you and others feel something special then its a successful image, no matter how you got to it. I recommend to anyone out there who hasn’t dabbled much in it to go and have a go because it really can compliment your photography, and really make the features you noticed at the time of the shot, shine.
- If you have any in-depth questions regarding the image processing side to photography and photoshop methods, please ask me in the comments and I will try to help your out with answers where possible. And please subscribe & follow for photography tips and inspiration.
- Camera Body: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
- Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM with a UV Filter
- Focal Length:105.0 mm
- Shutter Speed: 1/400
- ISO 400
7/10 – Getting the shot was part luck and easily accessible. Editing was a little trickier.