composition series – failed composition

Everyone learns best from mistakes; ideal from own mistakes or well-argued errors of others.
That’s why I posted a photo from winter 2017, which is, however, not the most successful image for me.


At the summit of Teufelsstein (1498m) in the Fischbacher Alps near Fischbach.
Taken on 26.1.2017 at 13:30.

Idea & composition

It was an icy cold winter day with a light snowstorm and a dull mood. Actually, a weather that I like to take pictures. The soft light under the completely covered sky emphasizes very fine nuances in color and brightness of snow. In strong sunlight, details of the bright snow, as well as one the rocks and tree trunk, would be very difficult to record during the same exposure.

Not only did I want to photograph the rocks and the spruce, which was richly covered with hoarfrost, but also wanted to emphasize the cold, icy mood.
Just as we felt at the summit there. The icy mood is well supported by the dim light and the slightly cooler color balance also supports the cool mood.

I wanted to represent the whole spruce on the picture, but could not go further backwards without the rocks would have become even smaller (24mm wide angle). A stronger up-shift would have resulted in too less foreground shown. From the same location, a weaker wide-angle lens (35mm) would have magnified the rocks, but the tree would have been cut off even more – maybe the better solution?

What bothers me are the overlapping of rocks, the spruce and the forest in the background. A clean separation between them would have been desirable. This would have been achieved by a slightly lower camera point. On the other hand, this would have cut the top of the spruce even more. However, it would have been worth a try. Also, the cropped branch on the right side of the picture is very disturbing – a few millimeters of white background would have been better.

My opinion

I could have saved this photo. It was the first of a small series on the summit and the enthusiasm for the hoarfrost and snow after a strenuous climb does not replace a clean image and a thoughtful approach.

My assessment

1 /5 stars

I award 1 star because the cool mood is well reproduced.

Gear used:

Nikon D800
Nikkor PC-E 3,5/24mm, 5mm Up-Shift
ISO 100, f.11, 1/80sec
expose compensation +1
cable release MC-36 and mirror lock-up
Gitzo carbon tripod 3540 XLS
Really Right Stuff ball head BH55

By | 2017-11-24T14:20:08+00:00 Januar 31st, 2017|composition series|2 Comments

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  1. Remo 05/02/2017 at 18:08 - Reply

    Lieber Thomas, super! Dein Auftritt, Deine Art, Deine Botschaft und natürlich Deine Fotos!

    Ich hoffe ich kann Dein Webinar sehen und von Dir lernen! Ich freue mich darauf!

    Love Remo

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