My latest post to the Outdoor Photographer blog, Entice the Eye, discusses strategies for engaging the viewer’s interest and leading their eye into the image. The image I use to illustrate the post, below, is a variation of an image I previously posted called Light’s Echo. I’m honestly on the fence as to which variation I prefer—both have strong and weak points. I made the image in Zion National Park. I hiked up a steep trail to reach this flooded canyon, and spent some time swimming in the pool looking for an interesting angle before settling on this view looking out. I stood on a small rock sticking out of the water so that I would avoid creating ripples. After the water settled down, I waited for peak sunset light to bathe the distant cliff face in golden color.
I made several variations of this scene, but it was only after I processed the images and studied them carefully that I decided I had missed an opportunity, and that I should have included the rock I was standing on in the image. I returned to the same spot several days later, only to find that the water had subsided to the point that my planned composition was no longer possible. I don’t know for sure whether the shot would have really worked or not, but I do wish I had thought of trying it the first time I was there! I’ve said it before and will likely say it again: when you are on location, it pays to try as many different variations as possible, just so you make sure you don’t miss something special. Canon 5DII, 14mm, ISO 100, f/14, 1.6 seconds.