Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cantigny Fountain in Black and White


I was asked to take some pictures of the fountain at Cantigny and went over there last night. My guess was that late afternoon would be a pretty good time and I was right. The only problem is that, for some reason, the fountain presents a photographic challenge to me. I have a tough time finding the right perspective. How to get the entire fountain in the shot is tough. And individual jets are also tough to compose. It's going to be an interesting project.

In this shot, I went for the entire fountain. But when I looked at the image, I felt that it was too green. There was some color from the containers, but not enough. Whenever I have a picture that is monochromatic, I check to see how it looks in black and white, and this one (at least to me) looked better, particularly with a little application of a "red" filter.

I also played with neutral density filters from Cokin. Those jets look nice and smooth (look at a larger version of the picture here) because the exposure was nice and long (f/22 at 1 second). But I noticed the catch in long-exposure water shots...the leaves move around. The day was kind of windy and all of those trees kept moving. I didn't notice it until later. Luckily I took a lot of shots and found this one where the wind must have let up for a few moments.

So now I have to factor in not only the light, but also need to do this on a calm day. Because yes, I found a shot that I was excited about. But right as I was getting ready to shoot, the fountain turned off. I looked at my watch - it was 7 pm. Time to go home.

OK, Cantigny fountain. You won this time. But I'll be back.

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