Assignments: June 2014

The Best Of The Assignments Submissions From
This Article Features Photo Zoom

1) Sunrise Assignment Winner
Photographer: Bob Faucher
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 28-70mm ƒ/2.8L USM, Gitzo tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead, B+W ND filter

This morning shoot was part of a 2008 multiday Fall Color workshop with John Shaw, arranged by Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop, California. We left Bishop well before sunrise to get to Mono Lake before any hint of morning light was visible. Trying to select a composition of an unfamiliar scene in the dark presents challenges. Fortunately, I was focusing on this offshore formation. Its position, relative to the rising sun, provided for nice side lighting, which emphasized its rugged nature. The larger tower in the formation caught the greatest light. The waterfowl were a surprise. This image was a single exposure and the only one I made at this wider perspective. The color of the light and the mood changed rapidly as the sun rose, compelling me to find other compositions.

From weather to light to mood, the weekly Assignments Winners showcased in this issue are from a diverse mix of themes. Congratulations to Bob Faucher, Lara Matthews, Dennis Jahn and Dustin Penman for their winning images.
—Christopher Robinson, Editor

2) Dry Assignment Winner
Lara Matthews
Equipment: Canon EOS 6D, Sigma AF 20mm ƒ/1.8 EX, Hoya 82mm circular polarizer, Manfrotto carbon-fiber tripod, Think Tank Photo Retrospective and Streetwalker backpacks

I had been thinking about this photograph for a while and planned the trip to Death Valley with my fiancé Greg and my daughter Charlotte to see if I could capture the image that was in my head. We hiked through the sand, traveling by foot and stopping often to look around for areas where shadowed gradients met the light. When I finally arrived at the location, no other people were in sight. I sat by my tripod, emptying my mind and breathing in the desert air. I waited patiently until the golden hour was upon us. The juxtaposition of low evening light and long shadows really helped create the composition I captured. It was a combination of previsualization and being at the right spot during the right lighting conditions that made this photo possible. I do minimal postprocessing in my workflow. The extent of postprocessing in this image was just a basic black-and-white conversion in Photoshop.

3) Stillness Assignment Winner
Photographer: Dennis Jahn
Equipment: Pentax K200D, Pentax 18-55mm, tripod and ballhead

This photo was taken at Farmer’s Pond in the Owens Valley, California, in January. When there are no winds, the reflections at the pond are spectacular. I had been waiting for the weather to clear, as I wanted a shot with completely calm water. This was just one of the images I was able to get on this beautiful morning. This is what I was looking for. I made minor adjustments in Photoshop Elements 8.

4) Leading Lines Assignment Winner
Photographer: Dustin Penman
Equipment: Nikon D7000, AF-S Nikkor 10-24mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED, tripod

I captured this image while visiting Washington state’s Second Beach in Olympic National Park in December. After spending the previous five days in the cold rain, soaked to the bone alongside my photographer buddy, Marco Crupi, we arrived at the beach just prior to sunrise, with a light rain falling and our hopes high. It was about that time when the sun started to rise over the coast, exposing the breaking up of the dark storm clouds. We finally had the great light we had hoped for all week and dry conditions! We were like children on a Christmas morning; no one was happier than us! This is a two-image HDR. In the first image, the foreground/seastack was captured with an ƒ/8 aperture, 1⁄8 second exposure and ISO 100. The lens was set at 10mm. I used my trusty tripod to set up my camera just 12 inches above incoming waves, and the shutter was activated with a cable release. For the second image, the sky/clouds were captured at the same settings, but the shutter speed was set at 1⁄125 second. I merged the two files in Photoshop manually.