Hello and welcome to my second challenge in this month. 😉 I’ve you are not familiar with this section yet, here is a little explanation why I do this and how it works. This year I decided to invent photo challenges to contest myself in order to grow my photography skills. The clue is that everyone may participate. Find out more!
My last challenge “Perspectives in Winter” was a lot of fun and gave me the push to do this one. It’s about picking captures I made last month which are suiting for one specific topic.
Key data of the challenge
- Name: “Three forest picks from last month”
- Topic: Last month
- Date: 26th – 28th of January in 2019
- Number of captures: 3
- Published on: Instagram
- Winning criteria: Engagement on each Instagram post
As you already know from my last post we didn’t have any snow in December. The positive side effect of this is, that I hiked a lot in the forests. An activity which I really like to do, because it sets your mind free. You can gain distance to things that are concerning your mind and just enjoy the moment. The great thing is, that I can increase this effect by taking photos. Having this in my mind I carry around my camera really often 😂
When you are out in the forest you need to be prepared tho. There are some obstacles. You need to have warm clothes with you, a good warm cup of coffee and an extra battery for you camera. I love my Sony A7 really a lot, but why should I gloss over the truth? Even Sony knows that their batteries doesn’t last long in their cams. I think it’s really great to own a camera bag, where you can store some lenses, a tripod and so on. The lighting conditions can be very tricking in the forest and this is where a tripod can really save your ass 😎 (I think I’ll make a post about my gear in the future.)
My favorite shots in a forest include this infamous moody setting with fog or light rays. I always see this great posts on Instagram and always want to have a similar shot. But unfortunately forest photography can be very ungrateful. You need to have good timing. Also have a great mental state and patience, because the chance is high, that there will be no captures that’ll satisfy you.
So back to the main topic. I took three captures and posted them on my Instagram feed. Like in my first challenge the reception was really great. Thanks for everyone for the support. It really motivates me to get going ❤️
The winner is…
I’m really amazed that all three captures had similar engagement. “The blurry bark” won very closely. I believe the difference were about 10-15 likes compared to the other ones.
Process from camera to post
I’ve used my Sony A7 with the 28-70mm OSS 3.5-5.6 Lens for this shot. I spent a few hours in the forest before finding this motive. The conclusion out of this is that it was getting dark. So I increased my ISO to 320 and opened my aperture up to f/5.6 which can result in loss of contrast. The shutter speed was 1/40sec. Even if I think that the image stabilizer of the lens would work quite in this case, I decided to use a tripod. Furthermore I chose a near focus point for my composition. The result out of the cam was as follows:
Since I’m a huge fan of Lightroom, the case was clear. I’ve imported the raw file and adjusted contrasts, tones and the highlights to bring back a lot of detail and structure. I am pretty amazed by the outcome regarding the sharpness. The final edit is much sharper and has no grain in it. Don’t know how I pulled that out. 😂
The final step was posting it straight to Instagram and being curious!
Like in my first challenge I evaluated the comments. The most positive things to say are that the composition and structure are great. I hope to improve my composition of my captures progressively, because it really determines whether a photo is going to be great or not.
What do you think about the challenge and which capture is your favorite?
Did you ever encounter the same kind of obstacles while shooting in a forest? What is the thing you bring with you when you’re out in the wilderness 😌 I’m curious about your answers and looking forward to reading them!