Serenity in the Landscape

The above image was made in a moment of free time while completing a photographic assignment in Tasmania, Australia's most southern state. You can access the Blue Tier rainforest, a dense, ancient landscape from the northeast town of St. Helens 24 km to the west. Forming the eastern most extend of the region known as the Eastern Highlands the Blue Tier Rainforest is home to some of the state's tallest trees, including the Blue-Tier Giant with a girth of 19.4 meters. The region is also a haven for platypus, freshwater crayfish, tiger quoll and the Tasmanian wedge tail eagle.

In the case of the above image the dense canopy provided a large, soft light source ideal for this type of photography. The problem was that, with little light getting through, a relatively high ISO (ISO 800) and slow shutter speed was required to correctly expose the scene.

It's inevitable that such a slow shutter speed will result in subject (e.g. ferns) movement. In addition to patience its also worthwhile making a few images, at the same exposure, to increase your chance of getting the one image where any subject movement is diminished or, alternatively, occurring in the appropriate part of the frame (e.g. the flowing creek).

When looking for photographs in such a dense environment you may find it worthwhile to simplify your composition by concentrating your attention on a particular area within the greater landscape. For example often the best way to tell a story about a forest, in a single image, is to concentrate your attention on a stand of trees, a individual tree or even a leaf. Less is always more!

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru