On Being A Responsible Social Photographer

Taking part in shooting with other photographers has its benefits and detriments - to this, I'm sure most all of us can agree on. The social aspect brings much levity and is a wonderful way to compound on our own individual sense of creativity via collaboration.

However, with it comes responsibility - most notable is being mindful of ones own surroundings. This shot taken on Buntzen Lake, near Vancouver, BC allows me to illustrate my point quite lucidly, I think.

Imagine me standing here for what seemed like 30 minutes, waiting for:

1. The light to hit this structure exactly right and
2. Two other photographers to clear that little pathway as they deliberately chimped each shot they took without any consideration for their surroundings.

Now, picture +Nicole S. Young standing 1 foot to my left, also going for a similar yet different shot of this structure (we had totally difference lenses on and were shooting at different focal lengths). Our tripod legs were sort of crossed over because we both wanted to share this ideal vantage point.

Finally, the stars aligned as the sun lit the scene perfectly and those two other photographers cleared the way (after a teeny bit of verbal provocation). I was the first to start exposing. I saw that I got the shot I wanted and then took one more for insurance.

When the second exposure completed, I picked up my tripod rather hastily and, in the process, slightly bumped one of its legs against Nicole's tripod. There was no doubt that her exposure was ruined. All it takes is a tiny bump to kill a long exposure. And the worst part was that it was her first (and only) shot. By the time she prepped for another exposure, the light was gone and would not return in the same way for the rest of the day.

I was that photographer. Faux Pas Master. I felt awful for ruining her shot due to my carelessness but Nicole took it in stride the way that she normally does. Still, it was a good lesson on the responsibilities we owe ourselves to take when shooting with our peers. That extra second of thought to look around and be very deliberate with out movement can go a long way.

Nicole has since posted her... ummm... version of the shot. You can gasp at it here:


In terms of processing
I only needed one exposure here (taken with my Lee 10-Stop Big Stopper ND Filter) to get all of the gorgeous detail that this scene had to offer. The light hit the structure perfectly, thereby making the reflections clear and glassy (again, due to the extended exposure time from the ND Filter).

I brought the image into +onOne Software Perfect Effects 3 and selectively applied the Green Enhancer and Golden Hour Enhancer effects to the tree line. I added the tiniest Blue Filter onto the mountain range in the background and on the water to help contrast using color temperature. Finally, I applied a Deep Forest Glow onto the whole image in a very nominal amount. Finishing touches were achieved in Lightroom 4.1RC.
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