Two Seasons, Two Images

Madisonville Canal south of Madisonville, Louisiana, looking westward at sunset, December  2009. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

Madisonville Canal south of Madisonville, Louisiana, looking westward at sunset, December 2009. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

I was tramping around one of my favorite local shooting spots on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain the other day, looking for images near the water’s edge south of Madisonville, Louisiana. The wind was out of the south and blowing, whipping things up and driving off the brown pelicans I was vaguely hunting. Driving out, I stopped on the small raised bridge that goes over the Madisonville Canal just as the late afternoon light illuminated the tall marsh grass that lines both sides of this little waterway. The light was beautiful and the colors coming off the water iridescent.

I backed up, parked the car and walked back up to the middle of the bridge to make this first image.

It’s a stitched-together image made from three raw files, shot vertically with a Canon 50mm macro lens and overlapped with using Arcsoft’s Panorama Maker stitching software.

As I was shooting this image, I was thinking about another one: about 8 months earlier, right at dawn, I had shot another photograph at this same spot, the morning glow in the east reflecting up onto some clouds in the west, the direction I was shooting in. Remembering that photograph and wanting to duplicate it compositionally, I used my macro lens and shot, planning on the panorama I knew I was making.

Below is the original photograph. Back on the computer doing the initial processing, I was surprised to see how far off I was on the whole composition! I didn’t come home with quite the right pieces to revisit my first image. The nature of the seasons plays a role too: the marsh grass is 8 feet high and already dead in December, unlike the young sprouts that were growing in April. Looking at both images now, I see them as very distinct, truly unique and different moments in time.

Madisonville Canal looking westward at dawn, April 2009. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

Madisonville Canal looking westward at dawn, April 2009. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

Do you have a favorite place you photograph repeatedly? How does it change from trip to trip? Maybe more importantly, how have the changes in YOU resulted in changes in the photographs you come away with?

Sometimes, our photos really are windows into our souls, aren’t they?

selfport1aHi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Two Images, Two Seasons

I was tramping around one of my favorite local shooting spots on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain the other day, looking for images near the water’s edge south of Madisonville, Louisiana. The wind was out of the south and blowing, whipping things up and driving off the brown pelicans I was vaguely hunting. Driving out, I stopped on the small raised bridge that goes over the Madisonville Canal just as the late afternoon light illuminated the tall marsh grass that lines both sides of this little waterway. The light was beautiful and the colors coming off the water iridescent.

I backed up, parked the car and walked back up to the middle of the bridge to make this first image.

It’s a stitched-together image made from three raw files, shot vertically with a Canon 50mm macro lens and overlapped with using Arcsoft’s Panorama Maker stitching software.

As I was shooting this image, I was thinking about another one: about 8 months earlier, right at dawn, I had shot another photograph at this same spot, the morning glow in the east reflecting up onto some clouds in the west, the direction I was shooting in. Remembering that photograph and wanting to duplicate it compositionally, I used my macro lens and shot, planning on the panorama I knew I was making.

Below is the original photograph. Back on the computer doing the initial processing, I was surprised to see how far off I was on the whole composition! I didn’t come home with quite the right pieces to revisit my first image. The nature of the seasons plays a role too: the marsh grass is 8 feet high and already dead in December, unlike the young sprouts that were growing in April. Looking at both images now, I see them as very distinct, truly unique and different moments in time.

Do you have a favorite place you photograph repeatedly? How does it change from trip to trip? Maybe more importantly, how have the changes in YOU resulted in changes in the photographs you come away with?

Sometimes, our photos really are windows into our souls, aren’t they?

Posted in: Inspire, Landscape

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

4 Comments on "Two Seasons, Two Images"

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  1. BayouBill says:

    > shot vertically with a Canon 50mm macro lens

    Merry Christmas, Andrew, to you and your family, and now here is my dumb question of the day: Why would you use a macro lens to shoot a landscape scene?

  2. Andrew says:

    I went into this in some detail in another post about panorama photography at http://thediscerningphotographer.com/2009/09/20/creating-great-panorama-photographs/. Basically, the wide angle distorts a scene in front of you due to the nature of the lens optics–foreshortened foreground, receding background–in a way that your eye does not. I find the result of a stitched photo shot with a normal lens looks more like reality to me than a lot of the results we get with wide angle lenses.

  3. BayouBill says:

    Maybe I should have been more specific in my question. I understand the reason not to use a wide-angle lens to contruct a panoramic shot, but why use a “macro” 50mm rather than a “normal” 50mm? Does the macro lens provide any particular benefits compared to a normal fixed focal length lens when used at a distance (as opposed to close up), or did you use it just because it was the best option you had with you at the time?

    Btw, the link you provided in your response does not work (because it includes the trailing parenthesis).

  4. Andrew says:

    Thanks Bill! I’ll fix the link. The 50 macro is the only ‘normal’ lens I carry, so that’s what I typically use for these photographs.

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