Everyone loves a great wide angle landscape and for good reason – this is how we see the world; it’s how we experience nature around us, wide and open with so much to take in. But there’s another way we experience the world, albeit more subtle, which is more intimate and detailed. We see individual stones in a river, particular leaves on an autumn tree, or specific mountain peaks that stand out as beautiful, and we focus on these things. They stand out to us and make the overall scene that much more beautiful and that much more memorable.
But as photographers this experience can be harder to express visually. Sweeping landscapes are an easier sell when compared to their intimate, focused counterparts. But if you invest time in learning how to create this type of image, I think you’ll be glad you did. It reveals something unique about the scene you can’t capture any other way.
Today’s image is an example of an intimate natural portrait. I took this along the Pemigewasset River in the White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire. I love the stones and the flow of the water along this river, so I wanted to focus in on just those elements. This image was taken on my 50mm lens, using a technique I call a dragged exposure. Maybe there’s a more technical name for this, I don’t know, but it’s not really a “long” exposure. In this case the shutter speed was only 2.5 seconds. But especially with rapidly moving water, that’s plenty of time to “drag” the water a bit, giving a smoother feel without completely removing all detail. This is a great effect to use when shooting moving water, and I think it works especially well in this type of intimate image.
Camera: Nikon D610
Lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
Shot Info: f/11 | 2.5 sec | ISO 50 | 50mm