I was so excited to hear that this week’s Project 52 prompt was nature! I mean, come on, how perfect is that? However, now the pressure was on to snag something good for nature. Honestly, I didn’t make time to go anywhere incredible (my fave spots around Louisville are Red River Gorge, Charlestown State Park, and my newest interest, Clifty Falls), but instead I took the time to enjoy what was close by.
Of course, I drove out to my favorite Louisville park – Cherokee Park – and walked the 2-mile loop, searching for anything that would catch my eye. I wanted this exploration to challenge me. Since being outdoors and hiking is my specialty, it can be easy for me to just snap what I normally do. Instead of doing that, I channeled my favorite photographer, Ansel Adams.
If you’ve never heard of Ansel Adams, he was an amazing outdoors landscape photographer. He understood his camera and the settings so well that he could capture all types of tone throughout his black and white photos. The whites were white enough, but never blown out. The blacks were so dark, but still held detail and structure. He took time to understand how each variable on the camera could affect the result.
Typically, I stick to having a low aperture (f4) because I love gaining that depth of field feel. Sticking with that, it also helps let in more light to help in lower light situations. Higher f-stop numbers begin to block the amount of light that will be let through the shutter – which is another reason why I never do that. However, I challenged myself to see how changing the f-stop would affect the result.
I’m super excited about the result – I captured such a blue sky with the sunset falling on the tops of the trees. However, even in the shade of the trees, you can gather details. It’s a nice balance of contrast with a lot of detail – for a simple photo.
I want to work more with these settings so that I can achieve results like Ansel Adams did. He has been someone I look up to for a while now – I even named my cat after him.