A typical,granted spectacular,view of The Narrows in St. John's,NL,Canada. Each spring,icebergs drift along the east coast of the province and one,or two,i...
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A typical,granted spectacular,view of The Narrows in St. John's,NL,Canada. Each spring,icebergs drift along the east coast of the province and one,or two,inevitable ends up near the entrance to the harbour. Mid May to mid June is the best time to visit if you want to view these fantastic forces of nature.
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4 Comments | Report
TammyCook December 19, 2015
MickAlicic PRO
MickAlicic December 22, 2015
This can't be! Unbelievable shot. And even the seagull for counterbalance. Awesome photo Shawn!
KMPMaster January 10, 2016
A beautiful shot. My Grandfather's house is just down the road from the lighthouse there. The place is called Fort Amherst. Beautiful area. I used to play in this lighthouse as a child...thank you for this wonderful memory.
RDVPhotography PRO+
RDVPhotography January 23, 2016
Saw this on Facebook and said Wow! Where are you standing to capture this? On land or on a ship?

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Behind The Lens

This image was capture in the Lower Battery area of St. John's,Newfoundland and Labrador. I was born and raised not far from St. John's so obviously the sea and all that captures is a part of my fibre. The Lower Battery is accessible by car, however I don't recommend it. The roads are narrow,I mean really really narrow! It's a beautiful walk with historic homes,a few makeshift bars (right over the water!) and some souvenir shots. Mostly though,there are private homes and you can literally walk by folks having tea just inches from the roadway. Very cool!
This image is the culmination of about two hours of changing position,waiting for the light,not liking it and moving again. Having captured this iceberg very early on the same morning,I knew i wanted it bathed in afternoon or early evening sunlight. If the sun was shining! Happily,the afternoon gave me partly cloudy conditions with enough breaks in the cloud to wash the iceberg and the red rocks with light. At around 4:30 pm,I got what I was waiting for and the shot looked okay,but not spectacular. Need another element! At that point,the tour boat passed behind the iceberg and I hoped beyond hope that it reappear around the outcropping. It did! I think I fired off about 40 frames during those few moments. Capturing the gull in flight was complete luck and I debated whether or not to include it in the frame. Ultimately,I went with this image,non photoshopped. All the elements in this photograph are straight out of camera,it hasn't been touched by Photoshop.
Ah,sidelighting! I love sidelighting (except on models)! It draws out detail,washes your subject with a softer light and has a warmth to it. Coming back in the afternoon and shooting this scene in sidelight was the single most important thing I could have done in the making of the photograph. Shooting into the sun is cool (well,hot actually!),sunny 16 with the sun at your back can be cool,but sidelighting does it for me!
I used a Canon 7D,Canon 70-200mm f4 and a Slik 700Pro tripod.
Growing up in Newfoundland,springtime icebergs are ubiquitous,like car horns to a city dweller. We hardly gave them notice. As you age you tend to appreciate things a little more,small things,things that hearken to your youth. Simpler times. Having left Newfoundland almost 30 years ago,I treasure these moments and,as I've discovered,so do others. Perhaps they are a little cliché in their representation of my birthplace,but they are,nonetheless,beautiful scenes. Every trip home now has a goal;make one image representative of who I am and where I come from. In no way comparative,but I'll take a queue from the f64 club and be content with one nice image per year!
During the initial culls this series of images really popped of the screen,but I wanted something with real Pop! The intial edits were performed in Lightroom with basic white balance (I warmed it up considerably),white and black point settings and a slight crop from the bottom of the frame. In Color Efex Pro I punched up the vibrance around the rocks and lighthouse using control points and,finally,added a slight exposure/temperature gradient to the top of the frame. Then I let it simmer. I always do. In fact,it simmered for about a week. At the end,I punched up the exposure and contrast a little and exported the web size version. For the print version,I added a half stop of exposure to compensate for the print media and sent it off to my local printer. It looks fantastic!
In my camera bag
My kit is simple as it has to travel with me and having ventured to Europe over the past couple of years and enduring airline weight and size restrictions,it may get even simpler. My entire arsenal travels with me: Canon 7D (soon to be replaced) a Canon 17-40mmL (tack sharp!)a Canon 50mm 1.4 and my lighter weight Canon 70-200mm f4L. I'm using the 70-200mm more and more,even for landscapes,these days. Given the,relatively,small file size coming out of my camera,I often shoot panoramas using this lens. This gives me exceptional image quality and very high pixel density if I should want to print big and I like to print big. As far as I'm concerned,a 16x20 is a snapshot. I have an assortment of filters,all screw on type,including ND 3,6 and 9 stop,a variable ND (for killing ambient light during photo sessions) and a couple of CPL filters. All of my filters are 77mm. My advice is to buy the largest filter required for your kit and then buy the step down rings to adapt to your smaller lenses. Save money for the airline tickets!
Wait. Then wait some more. I'm not saying don't make images while your waiting,just wait. Something just a little better could be coming! I think this is true of any genre of photography,well except maybe sports and weddings,however it normally pays off to be an observer. For this image,I was fortunate,I grew up observing scenes like this. For someone visiting a new area,do your research,seek out images from that area and,if possible,link up with locals online and ask questions. Like 99% of photographer,I'm not greedy with information and I'd be totally stoked if someone made an image,based on my advice,that blew mine out of the water! Above all,get out and shoot!

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