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Shadowland

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 13 December 2021 in Landscape & Rural.

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While I love colour, contrast and drama in my photography, I also look for more subtle scenes around me during our travels. I found one of these moments while visiting the Stirling Range National Park in the south of Western Australia. I was greatly enchanted by the elegant simplicity of the scenery in this photo. I loved the subtle light, gentle tonal transitions and hazy layers of mountains in the distance. I even liked the blank skies that just worked for me in this instance to keep the focus firmly on the landscape.

There is a wonderful road that goes right through the national park and it offers many interesting viewpoints along the way. It is usually reasonably quiet and we were able to take our time to drive slowly and stop frequently when we were there last year. I was initially a little disappointed with the clear skies that greeted us. However, as we drove further into the park, I saw these beautiful layers opening up in the distance. We stopped near one of the lookout points and I quickly climbed on one of the hills next to the road to see if higher perspective would work even better. It did indeed and I was rewarded with this fantastic sight.

As I was taking the photos, I knew that this would be a scene that would most likely work better in a panoramic format. There was nothing else in the immediate foreground that contributed anything to the overall scene or mood so I was able to crop the photo during processing. For me, the wide format enhanced the way the range is stretching across the frame and reflected the feeling of distance that the mountains covered before my eyes. I liked how the landscape builds up gradually, starting with the gentle hills in the foreground before reaching more defined layers in the background.

The scene was almost monochrome in nature already with just a delicate green tint to the bush covering the hills so I decided to drop colour in favour of a black and white version. I really enjoyed working on this image with dodging and burning in post processing. Over the last few years I have come to use that technique a lot and I believe it to be one of the most powerful tools available for editing photos. This one did not require a great deal of work, just a few strokes of the pen to separate the layers a little bit more and to lead the eye through the landscape.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 1/80 second F/8.0 ISO 100 45 mm

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