christopherpayne
christopherpayne

Ripples Through Time



Every year, around 9-11, Pepperdine University places one flag on their lawn, for each person who perished on 9-11-01. Each flag represents the country that per...
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Every year, around 9-11, Pepperdine University places one flag on their lawn, for each person who perished on 9-11-01. Each flag represents the country that person was from.
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3 Comments | Report
Julieweiss PRO
 
Julieweiss August 26, 2015
Congratulations! Wonderful image :)
ReneeBlake PRO+
 
ReneeBlake February 23, 2016
Congrats !
JAEberle
 
JAEberle July 18, 2017
Great capture! Please consider entering my "American Spirit" challenge

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken on the large lawn at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Every year, during the time around September 11th, they display one flag on their lawn, for each person that died in the attacks of 9/11. Each flag represents the nationality of the person who died.
Time
As you can see, this is literally just before the sun set. If you are taking photos outside, do yourself a favor, and get up early or stay out late. You cannot beat the lighting you get within an hour of sunset or after sunrise. The colors and shadows get especially beautiful, the closer you are to the sun setting or rising over the horizon. If you just got done enjoying the sunset, then stay out a while longer. The blue hour is often overlooked. This is the hour after the sun goes down. Even when it looks too dark to your eyes, your camera sees much more light, and many of my most beautiful photos have come from this time of day. Make sure you have your tripod with you, so you can keep the ISO low, and keep the camera still for those longer exposure times.
Lighting
I was especially in love with the golden glow that was shining through the flags, as the sun was setting. The warmth it gave to the image, is what really made this photo special in my opinion. As for the starburst pattern from the sun, just set your f-stop to a high number. I believe I used f/18 on this photo. The higher your f-stop, the more dramatic the starburst will be, and the sharper it will be.
Equipment
I shot this with a Canon 5D Mark III camera, using a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens.
Inspiration
My friend Steve lives up near Pepperdine, and had been talking for a couple of years about this memorial flag display. I especially was moved by the thought put into having each flag represent a specific person, and that it wasn't just US flags. Seeing the many other flags scattered amongst the sea of US flags, was a reminder that we share a grief with people in many nations. My friend had taken many beautiful photos of this display in previous years, but I really wanted capture an image through my own lens, with my own photographer's eye.
Editing
Surprisingly, this photo did not take as much post-processing as most landscape type photos do. I only made slight adjustments to the saturation, and hues.
In my camera bag
Most times my bag consists of a Canon 5D Mark III, a Canon 50D as a backup, a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens, a Canon 24-105mm f/4L USM lens, a Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, and if I am looking to get some shots of wildlife, I will bring either a Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM or a Sigma 500mm f/4.5 ex dg apo hsm lens. As for accessories I usually bring a lens cloth, my remote shutter trigger and, believe it or not, no flash. I prefer to use whatever lighting I have to capture my photos, as I am not a fan of using flash, in most cases. On longer trips, I will bring about 10 batteries, 4 chargers that can all be plugged into my car, an a/c converter to keep my laptop charged, and several memory cards (one 128g and 3 64g). Are that many batteries and cards a bit of an overkill? Maybe...but I have NEVER been out at a beautiful scene with fading light, and run out of charged batteries or memory card space.
Feedback
Get there early! Walk around....walk around some more....pay attention to the time of day and the changing light around you while you are there. When you find a spot you think will make a great photo, don't be afraid to shoot many angles and focal lengths. Don't listen to those that would criticize you for taking many shots. I can't tell you how many times I took a shot just because I thought might look nice, and it turned out better than another shot I thought would be my "money" shot. What our eyes see while we are there, is in 3 dimensions. The camera flattens that to 2 dimensions, and many times the shots you go through when you get home, take on entirely different looks, than what you saw while out there. You will improve your number of "keepers" if you can teach yourself to see the scene in 2 dimensions, with your eye.

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