Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Contender Gary Wagner

American Landscape contest Contender Gary Wagner uses the dynamics of water to convey emotion and mood through his multiple submissions

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Surf With Rock

Location: Northern California Coast

When did you take the photograph? March 25, 2012

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS lens, Bogen tripod, Really Right Stuff Head

Describe how you got this photo?
This photo was taken early in the morning on a cloudy and drizzly March day. On this day as most, I arrive early before daybreak anticipating first light so that I can begin taking images. This image was a combination of three images ranging in length from 1 to 8 seconds. I used a tripod for sharpness of the rock and long exposures for motion in the water. Auto bracketing is used to capture the full range of tones in the scene from the dark detail in the rock to the high value tones of the surf.

Did you use any special techniques?
My digital process workflow includes Photoshop CS6 for image editing, Photomatrix Pro for HDR combining of images and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for black and white conversion. Digital HDR techniques allow me to visualize and capture images in a similar method I used with the zone system and film for many years as well as those obtained with black and white film.

Why is this scene of the American Landscape special to you?
This scene of the American Landscape is special to me because I find the meeting of the land with the water to be of spectacular beauty. The interaction of the stream flowing into the rock and then out to the sea never ceases to fascinate me and has been the focus of my camera many times over the years. Prior to digital I had photographed this same location several times with my view camera and sheet film. At times, the stream has moved to the left or right of the rock to its home in the sea but I find it most interesting when it passes around on both sides as it has here.

Do the photos you entered go together to tell a story, or do you think they work best individually? If together, what story about the American Landscape do the photos tell?
These three images each have the strength to stand alone for viewing or can stand together by common threads. The photos, although varied in location and subject matter, have a common bond in two important ways. First and most obvious is that the subject matter of all three images includes water. I love the look and movement of water and include it in many of my images. Water has a special effect on people to create emotion ranging from the calm and serene of a gently flowing stream to the uncertain dynamics of the depth and power of the ocean. In my images I try and convey how I felt when I captured the photo so that the viewer can share in my experience. The second way that these images share a common subject is that all three share in the magnificence of the landscape. Whether natural landscape or man altered landscape, the images conveyed share my vision of what I find magnificent with the land for other to see and enjoy.


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