Congratulations to Theresa Ditson for winning the recent Close To Home assignment with her image, "Double Star."
“The Close to Home assignment particularly spoke to me because I have always tended to try to find the beauty in the less-obvious places, often in my own backyard, so to speak,” says Ditson. “While shooting iconic images has its value for sure, I typically prefer finding my own compositions in lesser-known locations and sharing them with others both near and far who might not have seen those views before. I discovered this particular spot in Prescott, Arizona, a couple years ago while hiking off-trail in the Granite Dells surrounding one of the small local lakes. I like this area because I’m able to capture a decent depth of field with a wide-angle lens, incorporating the texture and shape of the foreground and midground rocks, some reflections in the water, and another local landmark in the distance known as Granite Mountain. Add a setting sun to the scene, and you’ll often be graced with some beautiful colors in the sky and soft illumination of the landscape.
“On this particular evening, a summer monsoon storm had just passed through and was moving towards the right of the sun. If you look closely, you can see some isolated rain showers still falling from the storm cloud. For the first time of the many times I had photographed here, if I angled my camera just right, I noticed a ‘double star’ effect, with starbursts appearing both in the sky as the sun broke below the layer of clouds and also reflected in part of the water below, just nestled above the view of the midground rocks. I used a small aperture at ƒ/22 to help enhance the pinpoints of light radiating from the sun and its reflection.”
Equipment & Settings: Nikon D810, Nikon 14-24mm lens at 14mm, Really Right Stuff tripod, 1/8 sec., ƒ/22, ISO 64.