jenniferrachelratcliffe
jenniferrachelratcliffe

Flag of Calm



It's been two months of hiking, camping, hitching and it's suddenly silent. Colour is absent and present all at once in an expanse of extreme beauty. ...
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It's been two months of hiking, camping, hitching and it's suddenly silent. Colour is absent and present all at once in an expanse of extreme beauty. All I see is red, white and blue, flag of calm- White Sands, New Mexico, USA.
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Relaxed
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3 Comments | Report
rachnicolaparkinson
 
rachnicolaparkinson April 29, 2016
Amazing photo Jen!
lesleyannevans
 
lesleyannevans April 29, 2016
Very peaceful photo :) xx
iBob
 
iBob April 29, 2017
Looks like you strayed into a dream. Yes, the English weather can be unpredictable to say the least, but we moan and just get on with it! Peace!

Behind The Lens

Location
White Sands, New Mexico. I come from the North of England with endless adjectives for rain, walking between white hot gypsum sand and endless blue sky felt like I had slipped into a living painting, this photo hardly seems justice.
Time
It was taken mid-morning, I got a bit lost wandering around so I can't quite remember when.
Lighting
The brightness of this place is what makes it so beautiful, so I tried to capture it as accurately and naturally as possible, there was a storm later on that day which I think helped with the stark contrast.
Equipment
This was shot on a Nikon D40X with a 18mm-200mm; f/9, ISO100, no flash, self timer and the lens cap balanced on a shoe in the sand to prop it up!
Inspiration
I was walking silently with hot sand between my toes and squinting at the fog of shapes in the distance. I hadn't been home in over 4 months, my feet were blistered from hiking through the grand canyon a few days earlier, whilst my mind ached from weeks of sleeping on camping matts and hitching rides with strangers. This was my American adventure coming to an end, everything was silent yet filled with energy, the light seem to create blindness and vast beauty at the same time and the slightest breeze rippled over the dunes. The landscape reflected the moment so accurately and vise versa, it is inspired by those moments you know you wont need a camera to remember, but I thought I would give it a go anyway.
Editing
I try not to do much post processing if possible, but this is more to do with me liking film editing more than digital, I find this approach has helped improve my improvisation photography however, as sometimes you only get one shot. I do shoot in RAW and edit the levels with Photoshop to match my proof. This particular photograph worked better with less editing though due to the vibrancy of the landscape.
In my camera bag
My 10 year old second-hand camera, trusty Nicky (a Nikon DX40 DSLR) with my (second-hand) Tamron 18mm-200mm lense saddled to its front. My lens has vastly upgraded my camera but it did start to creep after 6 months (but I was using it more than twice every day), it is a light way to get extra range even when you are lugging around 5 months worth of clothes and camping equipment on your back too!
Feedback
White Sands is known to be hard to capture, but all you really need is a camera with manual settings and patience for trial and error. This was my first shot, so go with your instinct. My advice for taking a similar picture is simply capture your moment, as for me this is why I think this photograph works. If you capture even a glimpse of a genuine moment it will improve your photography more than anything else... I'm still working hard to try and do this.

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