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
Vernal Falls & Merced River

Location: Vernal Falls, Yosemite Valley, California

When did you take this photograph? June 11, 2012

Nikon D5000, Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED lens, Smith Victor Kenlock 2000 GLB tripod

Describe how you got this photo.
There was a large boulder off the trail with a perfect vantage point. Once there, other people on the busy trail agreed this was a good spot and started to come out to the rock, take photos, enjoy the view as well as the sound of the falls and river.

Did you use any special techniques?
I simultaneously used both a Promaster NX-4X filter and Hoya Circular Polarizer, which I rotated to bring out the colors and cut back the glare from the water below the falls. The shutter speed was chosen to provide the best texture of the waterfall in a compromise between freezing the water flow completely and a longer duration that would soften the flow. Minor post-production was performed in Lightroom 4.

Why is this scene of American Landscape special to you?
This is a beautiful vantage point and a beautiful day while taking in one of Yosemite's most spectacular scenes. Although difficult to see unless enlarged, note the people hiking up the trail on the right side. The scene was powerful to witness and the lighting quite good even at this time of day. If I were a painter, this is the composition I would use, as it has that quality to it to me. Beyond that, there is another reason this photo is very special to me. I took it under the supervision and guidance of professional photographer, author and instructor Michael Frye as part of a one-day private workshop for my birthday. Truly the most wonderful day of photography in my life and an honor to learn from a master like Michael.

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 photos do not directly go together as part of a series or as part of the same location, and work best individually. Nevertheless, they tell a common story of capturing the numerous beautiful landscapes our country offers those who get out and explore it, combined with that critical mix of ideal subject matter, light, composition and timing. The special ingredient is that rare emotional impact of the photograph to the viewer. We endeavor to freeze these special moments in time for ourselves and to share our unique experiences with others. The artistic craft of outdoor photography causes us to see and feel these wonderful scenes in a new and more meaningful way and prods us toward our next photo adventure.


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