Nature's Lines and Angles
For years, I had dreamed of a trip to Alaska, and especially into the interior. My husband and I had planned one a couple of times, only to be forced by circumstances to change our plans. Finally, one year, we went. Our journey took us to one of the lodges 90 miles into the interior of Denali National Park. These are single-fee lodges that include all lodging, meals, and services, including guided walks.
One day, our guides offered a walk through a valley and along a river called Moose Creek. As we walked along this gorgeous river valley scene, I looked for ways to show it off in a photograph. The first problem to solve was positioning the river and mountains so they looked dynamic. The second problem was managing the light so both the detail in the river as well as in the valley would be present in the photograph. This was the early 2000’s and digital cameras were not yet at the quality I wanted for a price I wanted to pay, so I was shooting film. That meant I couldn’t try and check my results and then try again if I didn’t get it. We also weren’t coming back any time soon.
Lines and angles in a photograph give it a dynamic feel. I positioned myself so the river created one predominate angled line, positioned against the folding angles of the mountains in the background. I used a landscape setting, wanting the whole photograph to be in focus, but also needing a fast enough shutter speed to get some freezing of the action in the flowing river. I trained the light meter and focus area on the green of the hills in the background, with the objective of blending the light from the sky with the light from the dark green to achieve a good average. Halfway down on the shutter button, hold it, and reframe to get the angle I wanted. I took several shots to ensure that I had one good one. This was it.