Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Eight days in Iceland raised his confidence that he can get the image right in the camera

Last year, when travel-loving Brett Cohen decided to take his photography even more seriously, he arranged a photo trip to Iceland in June. "That 8-day experience reinforced my decision to keep exploring and setting new goals for my photography. As a result, I'm now fully convinced that getting each shot right while I'm in the field is the best way to translate my vision into better images. I'm also convinced my Singh-Ray filters are the best way to get my landscape images right. I am a big fan of the Graduated Neutral Density filters and find myself relying on them more and more. During the trip to Iceland, I had the chance to use all of my filters which really helped develop my confidence and learn which filter to use in various light and weather conditions. I remember how amazing it was to discover the difference I could achieve just by choosing a filter with just one or two more stops in density.

"During June in Iceland, you can find carpets of lupine blooming in many fields that seem to go on forever. As I made this first shot (above), there was some light rain falling and I wanted to make sure that the details in the mountains would still be in the image. So I was able to use my 3-stop ND Grad to help balance the light in this exposure. I think the dark clouds really helped to make the colors pop.

"Dettifoss, located on the northeast side of Iceland, is one of the largest waterfalls in all of Europe. When I arrived at this huge waterfall, after driving down the long dirt road, I was surprised to find I was the only person there that morning. It was a very surreal feeling to have the entire place to myself. I hand held my 2-stop Reverse ND Grad so that I could hold back the bright sun while maintaining the brightness in the foreground. This was one of the most dramatic waterfalls that I have ever had the pleasure to witness.

"I took this next image around 10:30pm on Snæfellsnes peninsula. The lighting in Iceland can be pretty amazing at times and it will sometimes hang around for hours. I was really drawn to the stillness of the water and the nice warm light coming from my right. I used my 2-stop ND Grad for this shot to balance this exposure between the foreground and the background. The Snæfellsnes peninsula is situated to the west of Borgarfjörður in the west of Iceland. It has been described as 'Iceland in Miniature,' because of the many national sights that can be found in the area. For example, the Snæfellsjökull volcano, regarded as one of the symbols of Iceland, can be seen in the distance. At 1446 meters, it's the highest mountain on the peninsula.

"As I was scouting around Husavik in search of some new and exciting compositions, I came across this great field of lupine. One of the most amazing things for me as a photographer was working in the almost endless daylight available in this area during the summer. I took this sunset shot around 1am. During this trip, I would be up through the night to take advantage of the best light and then get my sleep during the day. I used the 4-stop Reverse ND Grad filter to help balance the bright sun just above the horizon while maintaining a nice exposure for the foreground.

"During this 8-day trip to one of the most beautiful places in the world, there was an almost endless variety of images to enjoy and photograph. I returned with many fine images, but even more important were the lessons learned along the way about using my ND Grads to get each image just the way I wanted it before leaving the scene. This was an important step in what I call my self-taught adventure to integrate my love of the outdoors and traveling to new places. In the process my photography evolves from hobby to art."

From his home in Philadelphia, Brett has traveled from coast to coast, across the U.S and Canada, and beyond. He's demonstrated a special talent for capturing award-winning images wherever he goes. To follow his success, you can visit his gallery for more examples of his fine photography.

1 comment:

Joanna Durczok said...

I have no words... it's stunning!!!!