On Assignment: A Peaceful Scene

This was a tough photo shoot to bring you along on! Taking video at night is quite the challenge. And that hillside! It is literally a field of thorns. But come now! Let me take you behind the scenes, and show you how that epic, pre-dawn trek unfolded!

That was such an amazing photo shoot!

Once I arrived at the top of the hill, I hopped from perspective to perspective, looking for the best angle. Contrary to what normally happens, the first perspective actually turned out pretty nice. I liked the framing and there was still lots of empty space for a verse to be laid over the photo, as was required for this assignment.

201217_James Staddon_1357 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 19 mm, 30.0 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

I thought maybe the town felt too small, though, so I zoomed in a bit and left the entire sky empty for the verse.

201217_James Staddon_1359 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 30 mm, 30.0 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

I didn’t like how my eye was naturally led to the dark, non-snow-covered trees in the bottom right corner, nor how the pine trees weren’t an integral part of the scene, so I re-framed the shot to put the valley more in the right side of the frame.

201217_James Staddon_1360 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 30 mm, 30.0 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

I liked that better. It was definitely getting lighter by this time, but I wanted to do something more purposeful with that foreground branch at the top of the image, so I moved to another perspective.

201217_James Staddon_1361 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 30.0 sec at f - 18, ISO 100

Compositionally, I think this fills the frame better, but that’s not what they wanted for the calendar, so I moved down the hill a bit and framed the same basic shot except for without the branch at the top.

201217_James Staddon_1363 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 18 mm, 10.0 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

And by that time, Blue Hour was over! The cozy glow in the town below had completely disappeared.

201217_James Staddon_1367 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 35 mm, 4.0 sec at f - 16, ISO 50

Now it’s your turn to shoot this assignment! It doesn’t have to be a snowy scene. It doesn’t have to be during Blue Hour. But it does have to look the best you can make it look like A Peaceful Scene.  And before you head off to Colorado, are you sure there isn’t an amazing spot close to home?

One Comment

  1. Donald S. January 23, 2021 at 4:06 pm #

    Truly a saga James!
    I really appreciated the step-by-step process you followed to explain it.
    Timing isn’t everything … but more depends on it than we naturally think!

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