New feature for my website, How I Got The Shot – borrowed from my Instagram feed (@AnthonyMorganti).

*Click on the image to enlarge

Today, two How I Got The Shot images for the price of one! I’m posting them together because compositionally, they contrast one another. 

For the image above:

The best landscape shots are when Mother Nature takes care of all the details. I really didn’t do much to capture this scene except get up early this morning and walk through snow, slush, and water to get to this area on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.

Since Mother Nature took care of most of the details, I just had to take care of composition. I opted to bullseye the distant lighthouse, putting it smack-dab in the middle of the frame. Most books on photography composition will say this isn’t the best way to compose a landscape but, at times, putting a point of interest in the middle can work. In this case, since the clouds in the sky were so dramatic, evenly distributed left to right, and reflected so nicely on the ice, I felt having that small, bright, point of interest in the middle, worked. Curiously, the sun was behind me.⁣

Processed in Lightroom only and it was fairly standard -> Highlights: -100, Shadows: +59, Whites: +51, Blacks: -43, Clarity: +32, Saturation: +20, Tone Curve – Medium Contrast, Blue Saturation: -10 (Sky looked too blue), Sharpening: 48, Noise Reduction: 40, Vignette Amount: -5.⁣

Gear and settings:⁣

Nikon D850 with Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 Lens⁣⠀
Auto White Balance⁣⠀
Single point focus. Focused approximately 1/3 of the way up into the scene⁣⠀
Spot Metering – Metered on the ice.⁣⠀
Aperture Priority Mode⁣⠀
1/200sec, F8.0, iso: 64 at 70mm⁣⠀

For the image below:

Click on the image to enlarge

I took this image during the same outing as my previous shot. Compositionally, this one is more traditional using the rule of thirds — the “Flat Man” sculpture is roughly on the left vertical line and the pedestal that has info about the sculpture, is on the right vertical line. The sky makes a nice backdrop and the colorful grass is a nice foreground element.

If one looks more carefully at the composition they’ll notice four (4) seagulls in the air (Click on the image to enlarge). Three are in a perfect triangle in front of the sculpture’s “face”. Three’s and triangles are nice compositionally and since the gulls are so small but contrast nicely against both the sky and the darker sculpture, they contribute some visual weight to the composition. IMO, visual weight is a very effective but sadly underutilized, compositional technique, which I’ll try to talk about more in the future. The tiny white lighthouse in the first image can be considered a visual weight element because it’s so small but contrasts nicely against the breakwall — that, and being positioned in the middle makes it very noticeable — that is visual weight.

Processed in Lightroom very similar to the previous image except I used one of my custom profiles that I sell. The profile is called, Spring Morning and is available in my Landscape Profiles pack. The profile was added first then I took the Temperature slider and pulled it down just a little to cool off the scene a bit. All other adjustments were fairly standard.

Gear and settings:

Nikon D850 with Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 Lens⁣⠀
Auto White Balance⁣⠀
Single point focus. Focused on the sculpture⁣⠀
Spot Metering – Metered on gray clouds⁣⠀
Aperture Priority Mode⁣⠀
1/100sec, F8.0, iso: 64 at 35mm⁣⠀
Straighten slightly. No other cropping done⁣

I did not use a tripod on either shot. Handheld on both. ⁣⠀

Look for a new How I Got The Shot every week or so!

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