More Panel thoughts

More Panel thoughts

I’ve always thought Landscape and Seascape panels are more challenging than most because of the lack of control over the  environment we have.  The challenges should be essentially the same as any other panel subject; theme, continuity, balance, engagement, so why do I think it’s more difficult?  Maybe it’s just a selection process I struggle with perhaps?

Seascape PanelTake this initial attempt at assembling a panel of my seascapes.

All the images are evening sunset or twilight images from the same general shoreline off Dublin’s north east coastline.  I’ve wanted to develop a panel of seascapes from my locality for a while now, but it’s taking a lot longer than I thought.

The first thing that strikes me when I look at these images is the balance (or lack of it) from a colour / tonal point of view.  So a quick elimination of the offending images reduces my panel to the next set:

Seascape Panel-EditBeautiful!  Looking a bit sparse though.  Interesting to note, two of the 3 images are twilight shots, the bottom left is just before sunset, but still gives a reasonable tonal balance.

Let’s see if we can add similar images to this set…

Seascape Panel-Edit-EditThe one added on the bottom right was taken on the same shoot as the top right, hence the similar tonal quality.

So this raises one problem for me,  do I need to shoot all my images for a panel on the same night for the same light?

Well, imagine trying to shoot 15 images in the same light on 20 or 30 second exposures… that could be a whole five minutes of weather!  In Ireland at least, that’s along time, especially if the light you’re using is sunset, even though Ireland has a relatively slow sunset given its latitude.  Also, if I want the images to be engaging, surely I’m going to have to make the images substantially different to one another?  Hard to achieve standing in one location, so moving around is going to waste time as well.

There are solutions; find a less demanding light, maybe an overcast day with little change to light over time.  My experience of this for seascapes is either dull and boring, very wet gear and sea sprayed images from bad weather, or black and white texture and shape only.  If I’m looking for some colour in my sea scape this option seems limited.  It may work best for macro shots on the sea shore but otherwise not an option.

This last set of four do look to me like candidates for a balanced engaging seascape panel.  If I want to keep to this theme, I’m going to have to repeat the process over many shoots to create 15 images with similar tonal range, balanced images, engaging scenes, and ultimately a worthy panel for future competitions or maybe my AIPF…