Creativity Challenge #20 - Simplicity

This week's challenge was 'Simplicity'. Simple really...well, not quite. Simplifying a landscape image can be easy on some occasions and difficult on others so I took up the challenge this time to try two approaches to the task, One, to identify the simplest shot I could find at a location, then, secondly, at a new location, finding an interesting scene and progressively simplifying it by concentrating on just the central point/s of interest.

The Eurobodalla Coast

The area of south central New South Wales, known as Eurobodalla, has some of Australia's most beautiful coastal scenery. Gorgeous yellow sand beaches with turquoise ocean are punctuated by spectacular cliffs, rocky outcrops and islands of folded sedimentary rock, making this area a seascape photographer's haven. [There's a great touring guide to the geology of the area here.]

Our first stop was McKenzie Beach just south of Bateman's Bay.

 McKenzie Beach, Eurobodalla Coast, New South Wales Photograph courtesy of Joanne Smissen

McKenzie Beach, Eurobodalla Coast, New South Wales
Photograph courtesy of Joanne Smissen

The dominant feature of this beach is the expanse of golden sand, the curling waves and the colours of the sea.

 Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser 70mm, ISO 100, 1/60 second @ f/11

Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser
70mm, ISO 100, 1/60 second @ f/11

I added a circular polarising filter to emphasise the colours and then slowed the shutter speed to blur the water movement using a 6-stop ND filter.

 Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 6-stop ND Filter 70mm, ISO 100, 6 seconds @ f/11

Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 6-stop ND Filter
70mm, ISO 100, 6 seconds @ f/11

Our second location was Guerrilla Bay, a few kilometres further down the coast. This little cove at the north end of the bay, immediately grabbed y attention. I framed up this wide-angle shot with the foreground rock leading the eye into the centre of interest - the small rocks with cascading water in the mid-background.

 Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 3-stop ND Filter 24mm, ISO 100, 1.3 seconds @ f/11

Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 3-stop ND Filter
24mm, ISO 100, 1.3 seconds @ f/11

However, this image is just too busy for me so I moved up onto the rocks and framed a shot with the triangle of foreground rock again pointing to the real interest in the scene - the water cascading over the central rocks and the beautiful colour and texture of the cliff-face on the left.

 Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 3-stop ND Filter 29mm, ISO 100, 2 seconds @ f/11

Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 3-stop ND Filter
29mm, ISO 100, 2 seconds @ f/11

I had a few options here. I first thought I would shoot a panorama to include both the cliff on the left and the rocks in the middle but I just couldn't compose an interesting, balanced image, so I decided to shoot the two 'centres of interest' separately. First, I zoomed in to frame the water cascading over the rocks, making sure to get high enough to have separation between the mid ground rock and the island in the background. Ideally, I would have liked a little more separation but the tripod was fully extended so I couldn't get any higher.

 Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 3-stop ND Filter 70mm, ISO 100, 2 seconds @ f/11

Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 3-stop ND Filter
70mm, ISO 100, 2 seconds @ f/11

The second shot was to tightly frame the cliff face with just a hint of the foreground rock in the bottom right corner. I waited until there was a hint of setting sunlight on the cliff (it was never going to be in full sun so I had to live with what I could capture)

 Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 3-stop ND Filter 70mm, ISO 100, 2.5 seconds @ f/11

Pentax K1 with Pentax 24-70mm lens, Circular Polariser + 3-stop ND Filter
70mm, ISO 100, 2.5 seconds @ f/11

Checkout the video of this shoot (from my YouTube channel)

Let me know what you think in the comments below - constructive criticism and debate are always welcome.

Next up
♥ 2   Power