A Bend in the Road

Anytime I prep for time in the field, I draw up mental lists of items/scenes I’d like to shoot if they manifest themselves. Often times, what i pre-visualize doesn’t come to pass… usually because the light isn’t right, or the elements don’t quite line up.

As we drove around Vermont I kept peering down roads looking for a bend that disappeared into the trees. Saw a few, but either the bend was too quick, or the bend wasn’t “bendie” enough” to lead the viewers eye into the distance in a natural sort of way. In my planning I had really been hoping for a similar scene with fog or mist. Those elements tend to give an image an air of mystery- but it was too late in the day, so I had to re-adjust my thinking.

The first thing I liked about his composition was the light slashing across the road- very subtle, but it gives that hint of late day sun off to camera right. Also love the way the light strikes certain parts of the trees and really makes them pop~ while the bend in the road has a slight rise, and then quickly departs stage left, leaving the viewer with their neck craning to see what’s around that corner.

Technically, this was a bit of a challenge to shoot- believe it or not the light made a single exposure difficult to capture the highlights and the shadows without something going wrong. Flipped into HDR mode and shot 5 frames 1 EV apart, merged in Photomatix and then really toned down the image. Didn’t want a Harry Potter effect on this at all, wanted it to be as natural as possible which means restoring those shadows and smoothing those highlights.


A Bend in the Road (c) Joseph Rowland 2009


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