Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another evocative image from Daryl Benson's "portrait" of Canada...

Here's another fine image from Daryl Benson's forthcoming book that we first featured on January 2. With the project now in its final production stages, Daryl has generously agreed to send along a series of preview images as well as some personal insights on the experience of self publishing. Simply titled "Canada," the 176-page book is due in stores early this summer, and is available for pre-order (US | Canada) now.

"The nation's vast and only partially explored far north is an important part of this country," says Daryl. "Both psychologically and physically, it shapes one of the ways we identify ourselves. I felt strongly that a book portraying Canada needed a good visual representation from this vast, difficult-to-access, expensive-to-travel-to and spectacularly beautiful region.

"For example, this photograph of a caribou skull and antlers reflected in a small pond was taken in late summer in the evening light, near Andrew Gordon Bay on the southern Baffin Island, Nunavut. Baffin is just one of the islands in Canada’s Arctic Archipelago, but it is by far the largest at 195,928 sq. miles -- that’s twice the size of Great Britain.

"A nice advantage to shooting at these far northern latitudes in late summer is the lingering warm sunlight. I easily had 15 to 20 minutes of magic evening light to work with as the sun slowly slid along the horizon before finally setting. I used a Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer to both enhance the warm colors and help the clouds pop out against the sky. This effect is most noticeable when shooting in a direction 90 degrees to the sun (as here). To get the nearly symmetrical reflection, I held the camera and lens less than an inch above the water's surface. Because I couldn’t use a tripod, the faster 'lighter/brighter' Singh-Ray Polarizer helped me hand hold the shot by using a quicker exposure -– 1/160 of a second at f8."

We can all look forward to further reports on this project. In the meantime, you can enjoy selections from his previous book -- Alberta -- by visiting Daryl's website.

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