Through the gates of nature


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wunderkind

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Mar 26, 2005
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#1
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.
 

Dec 26, 2005
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#2
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...
 

Zhengyan

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Jun 4, 2007
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#3
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?
 

nigel84

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Mar 22, 2007
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#4
Just wondering were you using a CPL? I think the colours might turn out better if one is fitted on.
 

May 6, 2006
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#5
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/vietnam/halong-bay/index.html
 

wunderkind

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Mar 26, 2005
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#6
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.
 

wunderkind

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Mar 26, 2005
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#7
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.
 

wunderkind

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Mar 26, 2005
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#8
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.
 

audibum

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Oct 23, 2006
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#9
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
 

wunderkind

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Mar 26, 2005
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#10
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.
 

Yatlapball

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May 13, 2006
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#11
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.
 

Mar 26, 2005
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#12
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.
 

#13
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.
 

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