Rafael Rojas Photography

Blog of Rafael Rojas Fine Art Photography

Photo of the Week: Timeless Lake Geneva


This is another image that fall into that category I am always so fond of: the animalscapes. Put an animal into your landscape and the image will come to life inmediately. We went down by the lake shore waiting for some nice sunset colours to come. At the selected site, these nice rocks gave a beautiful foreground towards the alps at the other side of the geneva lake, with those strong diagonals, pointing towards the quite triangular disposition of peaks in the top part of the image. The colours did not turn fiery nor colourful, but the whole ambiance kept a really magical muted mood, with nice textures in the clouds at a certain point mimicking the calm water rippled surface. I composed this image where the rocks also tend to form a kind of circular closure in the foreground, keeping the pyramidal peak quite in the center. And then magic happened. A nice swan came directly to where I was, and posed for me for some seconds, staying exactly at the very middle of that "imaginary" circle, and exactly under the quite "energetic pyramid" created by the distant dominant peak. In order to keep the speed short and freeze the swan I got rid of the polarizer filter I was using, cranked up the iso up to 400 and opened up a little the aperture, keeping 0.5 seconds of exposure as a result. A few exposures gave a blurry result, but I managed to keep a couple where the swan was acceptably sharp, and one where its pose was really adding to the composition.

I then did a conversion to black and white, as this would keep better the timeless character of the scene and focus the attention on the tonal contrast (the swan and the dark rest), the geometrical and graphical design created by foreground and background, and the contrast created by the opposition between living being and mineral landscape, soft swan and sharp-jagged forms around and static and dynamic elements in the scene. I introduced a mild vignetting to focus the attention of the viewer on the swan, and voilà! Take care, thanks for reading and great light to you all