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Shadow World

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 31 August 2021 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


After some brighter and more sunny photos it is time to return to the darker "shadow world" of the Faroe Islands. This is the dramatic and surreal coastline near the town of Eiði on Eysturoy. It is another scene with my favourite theme - dark rugged cliffs and waterfalls. This time two waterfalls, one in the distance and one a little closer to the camera. There is just a hint of one more waterfall hiding behind the clouds between the other two, if you can spot it.

As you may already know, I have spent a bit of time taking photos on the coast around Australia. I love the coast, the sea and the interaction between waves, rocks and cliffs. It is no surprise then that I would be also in awe of the fantastic coastline of the Faroe Islands. It is so different to our Aussie shores. The dark volcanic rocks give it an eerie and surreal feel, which is in contrast to the usually brighter scenery found around Australia.

We arrived at this location couple of hours prior to sunset to have enough time to venture out onto the rocks and explore a little bit before darkness arrived. The clouds cover remained steady but the rained kept away until the very last moments when we were just about ready to pack up for the day. There were a lot of possibilities for composition around the area. This view with the waterfalls was the most interesting to me though and I was very glad to see the water flowing in both of them. With the distant cliffs and the waterfalls sorted, I was looking around for some interesting foreground to work with them. There was plenty of that to be found here as well with little ponds, different coloured and textured rocks and even some moss here and there to choose from.

I probably have three of four photos from this location that I equally like but in the end I had to choose one to post. I might re-visit the others in the future, especially the one with moss present in the foreground. While a lot of basic processing (base global adjustments) can be very common for photos with similar scenery taken very close to each other, they may require targeted individual adjustments later so I am not able to just apply the same process to all of them. I tend to put each photo through individual process and treat each one on its own merits.

The next consideration while on location, which is especially important for any seascape photography, was the choice of shutter speed. This is a very personal matter and it all depends on what vision one has for their photos. I mentioned it under previous posts that I find that it beneficial to take a number of frames with different exposure times (conditions and time permitting) so that I can make the selection once I had a chance to evaluate them all. For some photos it may be a good option to "freeze" the water action while for others a more ethereal long exposure look could be what makes it more interesting. There is no right or wrong way. This is of course in addition to actually getting the exposure "correct" for the current light and conditions. I write "correct" because once again that needs to be aligned with each photographer's idea and vision for the final image.

These days I tend to take bracketed exposures to cover the entire dynamic range at a number of different shutter speeds. That really gives me a wide range of options to work with in post processing. In this photo I chose a longish exposure time of eight seconds for a number of reasons. It smoothed out the clouds and the sea without robbing them off all texture. It gave the waterfalls a lovely smooth look that I like. It also smoothed out the water in the pond which allowed the polariser to eliminate some of the glare and to cut through the surface to reveal a little bit of texture and detail from the bottom. In the end I did not need more than one frame to get this result but I knew I had backup in case I needed to extract additional detail in the highlight or shadow areas.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 8 seconds F/8.0 ISO 100 20 mm

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