Image Doctor: Pondering Milford
Photographer: Christopher Ojala
Camera Type: Pentax K-5
Lens: Sigma 18-55mm
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Adjustments: Sharpened and converted to B&W using Photoshop.
Photographer's Comments: Taken on a wet and cold day at Milford Sound, New Zealand. My intention was to show the grandeur of the Sound and how insignificant we are in the setting.
Image doctor's advice
Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand (if not the world) and, were it not for all the rain and the sand flies it would be a great place to live too. Thirty years ago I visited Milford Sound with a couple of mates, and we got there riding push bikes. The ride in was fantastic but getting back out up that hill was a killer!
Two photographers who do live in this corner of the world (Queenstown to be precise) are Mike Langford and Jackie Ranken. One of Jackie's award-winning photographs was made in this same location, probably under this same tree, and it was of Mike holding an umbrella. The difference between your photograph and their photograph was that they chose to make the image from further back and lower down so that you could not see that distracting foreground.
Now, there is a good chance that you have never seen Jackie’s image before – if not, have a look for it on the web.
Perhaps the one thing I am not convinced about in this photograph is the umbrella. For one thing, it is situated directly on the horizon line so it does tend to destroy an otherwise elegant line. One other problem I have with umbrella though is that it does not seem to be raining.
if you want to improve this photograph I would start by the darkening the sky and getting some contrast into those clouds. The next thing I would do is remove the distracting elements from the foreground. Then I would clone the umbrella.
By the time you do this the photograph will look more interesting… like you are really pondering the beauty of Milford Sound.
Image Doctor's edited version