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Thread: Through the gates of nature

  1. #1

    Default Through the gates of nature

    I took this picture for two reasons:

    first, I liked the huge rocks that look like some enormous gates (of nature) and

    second, to show how small and insignificant humans seem next to them. Despite all of mankind's technological advances and the ability to influence and change nature, our evolutionary existence is just a very brief moment in the geological history of Earth. These rocks are probably millions of years old, being once at the bottom of an ancient sea.

    The picture was taken in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Thank you for your comments.



    Larger version.
    Last edited by wunderkind; 2nd June 2007 at 10:33 AM.
    Canon PowerShot A650 IS
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    would u crop to bring out the symmetry? also is there a better time, say sunrise or sunset, to take this photo cos i think the sky is too grey...
    Nikon D200 + Nikon 18-200 VR2 + 50 f1.4 + 35-70 f2.8 + AFS 80-200 f2.8 + Tokina 12-24 + 80-400

  3. #3

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    Wunderkind, understand what you are trying to do. But I don't feel that the juxtaposition between the small human figures and the rock formations bring out the feeling/idea of man's brief presence when compared against the many millenia of Earth's history. Probably because the people in the picture are actually taking a tour?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    Just wondering were you using a CPL? I think the colours might turn out better if one is fitted on.
    My Humble Flickr --> The pavement of my thoughts

  5. #5

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    I believe you were trying to show the difference in proportion between the humans and the towering rock formations. Somehow the picture does not show the three dimensional nature of the rocks (light intensity and direction) nor its great height (perspective). What time was the photo taken? Could a wider lens be used to give wider perspective and depth?

    Sometimes we're limited by our equipment and also the shooting location itself, time of visit, big group of people, etc. I've never been to Ha Long bay so to be neutral I Googled and found this just to see if it can be a useful example to imagine how this photographer decided on his shot:
    http://www.virtourist.com/asia/vietn...bay/index.html
    "...not taking what one doesn't desire is the hardest thing in the world" - Albert Camus

  6. #6

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    Quote Originally Posted by nigel84 View Post
    Just wondering were you using a CPL? I think the colours might turn out better if one is fitted on.
    Nope, I was not. And I think there is no easy way to attach any filter to Canon PowerShot A620. At least, not that I am aware of.
    Canon PowerShot A650 IS
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    Quote Originally Posted by centurion_sg View Post
    I believe you were trying to show the difference in proportion between the humans and the towering rock formations. Somehow the picture does not show the three dimensional nature of the rocks (light intensity and direction) nor its great height (perspective). What time was the photo taken? Could a wider lens be used to give wider perspective and depth?
    Yes, you are right. There were quite a few limitations I had to deal with. Picture was taken in late afternoon while on a kayaking trip in Ha Long Bay, so I had little choice with regards to time of day or light. It is not that I could come back to this spot when shooting conditions were better.

    Second limitation - lens. There exists a wide-angle converter for A620, but it can't fit inside the A620's underwater housing that I was using on the kayaking trip.

    Third limitation - composition. I do have a wider view of the rocks. However, these "gates" are just a narrow gap that leads from an enclosed lagoon to an open sea. And a wide angle view did not give a feel of the "gates". Plus kayakers were nowhere close to passing through the gates and I could not ask them to wait while I am composing the shot. But tried the best I could under the circumstances.

    Thanks.
    Canon PowerShot A650 IS
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    Quote Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
    Nope, I was not. And I think there is no easy way to attach any filter to Canon PowerShot A620. At least, not that I am aware of.
    I need to correct myself. There are lens adapters for Canon PowerShot A6xx series - for example this one. The problem is that the lens adapter with a filter attached can't possibly fit inside the underwater housing I was using as a precaution on a kayaking trip.
    Canon PowerShot A650 IS
    Nikon COOLSCAN V ED

  9. #9

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    good effort, imho wld be nicer if there's some sorta symmetry and sky's a bit bland.
    if can't find a better time of day to shoot, u might wanna add some color in PP to accentuate the sky and rocks and water.

    canoeists too small to be a subject in the photo. so they're distractions, PP them out.

    ha long bay is nice huh
    Leonard aka audibum
    Nikon D300|17-55 F2.8|50 F/1.4|SB-800|Fuji x-100| canon s95

  10. #10

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    Asymmetry is intentional. And it is true. In Ha Long Bay skies are bland most of the time - grey, cloudless and the landscape is often misty. Sure, I can color the skies in Photoshop, but the result will be artificial, since it won't be a true realistic representation of Ha Long Bay and its nature.
    Last edited by wunderkind; 9th June 2007 at 10:27 AM.
    Canon PowerShot A650 IS
    Nikon COOLSCAN V ED

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    I like the idea behind the picture. When I looked at it at first glance, it felt like I was standing between the feet of a giant.

    I actually didn't really like the canoeists to be in the picture. Hmmm. This is the thing about landscapes. Balancing patience with compositional elements that sometimes are beyond your control. Like weather and all that.

    I think this month's PVI has a picture of the exact same place, but luckily for that photographer, the weather was better that day.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    Quote Originally Posted by Yatlapball View Post
    I think this month's PVI has a picture of the exact same place, but luckily for that photographer, the weather was better that day.
    Hmm. What is PVI?

    Ha Long Bay is not a place that cooperates about weather well. Most of the times skies are grey and gloomy and if one is really unlucky all of the 100's of islands will be hidden behind a blanket of fog.
    Canon PowerShot A650 IS
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Through the gates of nature

    Quote Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
    Hmm. What is PVI?

    Ha Long Bay is not a place that cooperates about weather well. Most of the times skies are grey and gloomy and if one is really unlucky all of the 100's of islands will be hidden behind a blanket of fog.
    PhotoVideoI magazine, local photography magazine.

    Yes, what you say about Halong Bay is true. Its awfully 'gray' too when i was there too and based on alot of images i've seen on the web, difficult to get colorful shots in Halong Bay.

    I think using one of the many archs (where you kayak underneath (e.g. from google images) massive rock into a hidden lagoon) might have better suited your title. The subject you have chosen, is a rather common sight around this region e.g. Krabi, Phuket so you might need to choose a better gate. You do need to go as wide as you can (to the limit of your constrains) and perhaps take advantage of your 'waterproof' camera by taking from just below the water level so that it gives a 'different' perspective. I find silhoutte to work very well at Halong, also look for the layers (e.g.) the fogs create onto the outcroppings.

    Having said that, i tried some post processing on this picture and i think adding a vignetting (amount -50, midpoint 0) would make it look better and draw some focus onto the kayakers with the distant limestone outcroppings jutting out of sea as backdrop.
    Last edited by Shuttergraphy; 17th June 2007 at 05:45 PM.

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