The Window, Part 2

Part 2 covers the second morning I spent shooting in the Basin of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. This morning produced dramatically different clouds and light than the previous morning.

Parts 1 and 2 cover my attempts to document the Window in my own way for my ongoing photo project on Big Bend.

click for slightly larger pic

Canon 40D with Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L & polarizer
24mm, f/8, ISO 200, blend of exposures from 1/30 to 1/10 sec.

I wasn’t inspired to take a tightly composed, cropped-in photo of the Window. I’d say the majority of the Window shots I see are just that – only the Window, i.e. a tight shot of the classic V-notch (and also the view through the Window to the lower desert beyond, but the air is often too hazy to make out good details).

The photo above is the tightest composition I could stand to take, but I still included a lot of the surrounding mountains and sky.

What I think best reflects my experiences in Big Bend, and particularly in the Basin, is more of the whole package rather than some isolated component. What pleases my eye is seeing the surrounding components and the stuff that connects to the main feature to tell the story better and put the main feature into proper context.

click for slightly larger pic

Canon 5D with Canon 17-40mm f/4L & polarizer
19mm, f/11, ISO 100, blend of exposures from 1/15 to 1/2 sec.

The shot above puts the Window about as small as possible by using almost the widest focal length I have, and it’s my favorite shot from that morning. It’s perhaps a little ordinary because of the simple composition – the Window is dead-smack in the center.

But when I look at it, I feel something. It stirs up some emotions. It possibly captures more essence of the Basin than just specifically the Window itself. You see how the Basin is this fertile, green pocket that’s walled-off by mountains and clouds. Yet, despite the wide angle of view, the main feature (the Window) is highlighted by direct light.

I like it, but that’s just me. What do you think?

4 thoughts on “The Window, Part 2

  1. I like that last picture too. I think it’s the colors of the little red flowers and how the rock in the bottom right looks purple. Must have been a beautiful sunrise.

  2. Thanks! Yes it was a nice sunrise :-) Tanya’s favorite part of that scene is the tiny bit of red color from the small flowers. Judging from those and other responses, I think the red flowers play a much more important roll in the scene that I originally imagined. Thanks for your comment!

  3. IMO, and quite contrary to the photo rule to “simplify”, context is everything in a picture.

    Context allows the observer to discover a sense of place as opposed to having the nominal referent in a picture slammed-danced in their face.

    Nice picture.

  4. Thanks, Mark! I appreciate your comment. I’ve been mentally chewing on it for a while now – it makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks!

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