Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Contender Stephen L. Kapp

While American Landscape contest Contender Stephen Kapp’s dual submissions tell different stories, Kapp seeks out images with emotional impact

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Photographer: Stephen L. Kapp

Northern Inside Passage Sunset

Location: The Inside Passage, Southern Alaska

When did you take this photograph? July 4, 2010

Nikon D5000, Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S lens

Describe how you got this photo.
While topside of a cruise ship, I found these special moments of awesome sunsets, cloud formations and large expanses of desolate beauty. Fortunately, the clouds, lighting and shadows were all coming together very well when we were passing through, rewarding me for being patient to capture some of these visual highlights. This image is one of several in a series where "God Beams" were shining through gaps in the clouds onto the water at dramatic angles. I was pleased to see bright reflections on the water's horizon that delineated the shoreline from the expanse of the water. I don't think this photo would have nearly the impact if this thin line of reflection were missing. It was also important to me to include the small island visible to the far right of the image. Truly a magical set of natural circumstances.

Did you use any special techniques?
I chose to wait to frame the highlighted section of the cloud formation so that the sloping mountain ridge on the left balanced them with the small island nearer to the foreground on the right. This made the composition fall into place nicely. Had I used my circular polarizer to further cut down the glare, better definition in the clouds would likely have been realized. However, I used Lightroom 4 and the Nik Software Collection suite for post-production adjustments to bring out my original recollection of the scene.

Why is this scene of the American Landscape special to you?
There was a desolate beauty to this stretch of coastline during the few minutes we passed through, and it best represented the vast wilderness and wildness of the area and the great vistas around Alaska. Surprisingly, virtually no one else was around when I took this shot, so it has been nice to share this image with others who were not so fortunate to experience it firsthand.


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