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I’ve seen the setting sun shining trough the rain this evening, and I remembered about this photo. Sometimes the most interesting moments and unplanned. I was returning after a journey I made to photograph a cave (more on cave photography in the future I hope), and the day didn’t turn so well. It started raining, I had a long drive and the rain was just pouring down and it was really tiring to keep driving.
I decided to pull over to rest and see the landscape. I got off from the car and only took a few steps and the sun started shining trough the clouds and back-lighting the rain drops. I ran around like crazy trying to find something nice to highlight this beautiful phenomenon and found a tree on the meadow.
I had my 90mm lens with me, and it prove to be enough to frame this shot. I used a wide aperture (f2.8) to be able to have a fast shutter speed (1/200) to “freeze” the raindrops. Seeing them backlit by the sun always seems special to me even when I am just observing and I don’t have my camera with me, so I am really glad that I got this shot. It really seems magical to me.
The most important thing in becoming a better nature photographer is understanding the fact that a photo is not “taken”, but something that is given to you. You can spend days in the wild, travelling long distances on foot, having your heavy gear ready at all times yet come back home empty handed. Days later, that special image you have been searching for is still missing because a series of factors were not met: the weather was not quite right, the light fell from the wrong side, the season was not the right one, the lens you used was not the best for a given subject, etc. But sometimes, everything falls right into place and all the conditions are met. You are given a great moment in time, a spectacular view with just the right conditions to highlight the beauty of nature.
It was the case with the image above, an image that received a lot of praise. I planned this trip months before and waited for the autumn season. When the conditions were right, I started my long journey towards the mountains. It was a cold November day and as reached the mountain’s base it started raining. It didn’t last for long so I was able to start climbing. The slopes were really steep so I had to stop often to catch my breath. On one of these stops I was given a spectacular view: a ray of light poke trough the clouds and fell right onto the birch forest at the bottom of the mountain. I already had my tele lens fitted on my camera, there was plenty of light for a fast shutter speed and given the years of experience, I framed this shot almost automatically making use of all the elements I had. Everything fell into place. I love how the light highlights the color of the birch forest and also the side of the cliffs, giving depth to the photo. I also love how the trees appear so small compared to the mountain, and give a sense of the true size of the cliffs. The beautiful mountain landscape, the autumn colors, the special light, all contribute to this shot and make it a fantasy fairy tale autumn mountain landscape. It has that fantasy atmosphere I search for in an image.
A great image is a matter of being at the right time in the right place, and have nature give you the perfect conditions for it.
You can license this image here: https://www.stocksy.com/851046