I like Celebration Park, located south of Nampa on the Snake River. The park has architecture, rocks, water, mountains, panoramic views – it has everything I want. This particular evening I went out in hopes of capturing a sunset. Of course there are a lot of gorgeous sunsets in Idaho. I’ve seen thousands and taken nearly that many. This night I wanted to capture a non-traditional sunset. Instead of featuring the sun dropping behind the landscape, I decided to feature the color of the sunset reflecting off the water. Fortunately, there was a group of boys fishing several hundred yards away. Instead of just the river and rocks, the boys add a much needed human element.
For me, subject matter (the story) is more important than subject (physical object). This image includes two human beings, rocks, bushes, water (subjects). Although the river is beautiful, without the boys it would be just an empty river. The two boys lend perspective and story to the image. The image is about adventure, friendship, youth, energy, and enjoying the great Idaho outdoors (subject matter).
This image has a number of compositional elements that I like.
First, I like the silhouette treatment. Although there was some detail in the boys’ faces and bodies, highlighting that detail would have made this image about those particular boys. The loss of detail in the silhouette makes the scene more about archetypal boyhood. These could be any boys, on any river, during any sunset. I like the universality of that aspect.
Second, I like leading line coming in from the left, moving my eye to the boys’ positions on the rocks.
Third, I really like the reflection of the center-most boy. I feel like it adds almost another character to the story.
Lastly, I like the placement of the boys in the frame. Putting them on an intersection point tells the viewer, “This is where I want you to look.”
Camera and Settings:
○ Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 at 100mm
○ f/9.0 for 1/80 of a second, ISO 100
Processing – Initial processing in Lightroom:
● cropped to about 40%
● all the basic sliders adjusted (except saturation)
○ Contrast, Whites, Clarity & Vibrance increased
○ Highlights, Shadows & Blacks reduced Additional processing in Photoshop
● I did a lot of work eliminating distracting elements
○ There was a lot of debris in the water that I healed
○ Eliminated distracting highlights
● Added Nik Effects layers to sharpen the edges