The Old Mill, Wakefield

September 6, 2012
The Old Mill, Wakefield

1/3sec @ f/11
24mm, ISO200, 0ev
Evaluative Metering
Nikon D3s, 24mm f/2.8

I have a love/hate relationship with Wakefield, QC. If you go there completely off-season e.g. middle of the week mid-November when it is raining, there is no-one around it is quite a quaint little village. If you go when the fall colours are out, or middle of the summer, then good luck! In fact, good luck getting across the bridge into Hull/Gatineau from Ottawa!

This shot was from a random trip to Wakefield mid-week, overcast and about to rain. We headed up to the Old Mill, which both I times I have been there to eat we have walked out as we waited to be served for over an hour with barely anyone in the dining room. Ok, sorry… back to photography. We headed down the rocks onto the waterfall that used to feed the mill. Setting up for a shot before it rained meant being quick with the kit. I used a tripod and a hand-held shutter release to ensure a steady shot with the long exposure, helped partly by the f/11 aperture and partly by the use of a number of neutral density and grad filters.

As with all shots, I am looking for leading lines. Waterfalls are easy to find leading lines if they come down horizontally and vertically over rocks. They create a path in the frame by themselves. I find it is harder to get those leading lines in solely vertical waterfalls. You have to use the surroundings of the waterfall more. In this shot I wanted to capture the motion of the water but also get the rocks tac sharp. The waterfall (subject) itself isn’t particularly spectacular so the shot is also not spectacular. However I do like the movement of the rushing water created with the longer shutter speed.

While discussing the subject of the shot it is hard to ignore the focal length. Using a 24mm on a full-frame sensor is pretty wide. With wide-angle lenses it is imperative to have a definite subject and get damn close to that subject. The big rock in the foreground of the shot is about all I had to work with in this case. I think I could have got closer to it too. If I were to take the shot again, I would get closer and lower. Angles are what make wide-angle shots, the more out of ordinary the angle, the more dynamic the shot.

A landscape is truly great when the landscape is the backdrop to a subject. It gives it a reference point and helps the eye concentrate. The eye hates being too busy!


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