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“Shooting Through” at the Goodnough Dike

This is a dike, the Goodnough Dike at the Quabbin Reservoir, inside the Quabbin Park.  (Click on the image for a better view.)

OK, so it’s a picture of a dike with Lens Flare.  But ignoring that, fascinating?  Maybe not.   It’s a long straight, now empty road.  Don’t dikes have a job, like holding back billions of gallons of water?  Where’s the water???  What to do?  Always try looking behind you.  If I turned around pretty much at this spot, what would I see?

Got rid of the lens flare, and everything isn’t quite so long and straight anymore, but where’s the dike?  I then remembered a lesson taught to me by the great nature photographer Tony Sweet.  He was actually referring to flower photography when he was stressing this point, but the technique of “shooting through” has wide applicability.  Find something to fill the space that is interesting, adds to the composition.  Trees, in addition to their other many wonderful characteristics, make great frames, for the primary subject.

Got our dike back.  Time to move on.

Tech note:  Shot in infrared on a converted D200, converted to black and white in post processing, Lightroom, Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex Pro.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sandra #

    the b&w dike rocks … and is very beautiful.

    June 22, 2011
  2. The final dike shot works so well in IR, James. I never choose to walk out to the dike, but this shot inspires me to do so. Nice work.
    Funny how the first looks like a highway shot. The second is more interesting, but as you say, it’s a step toward the final image which is very nice.
    Tony’s advice is excellent and it is always the evidence of a lesson well learned when a good technique is adapted to other disciplines.
    As an aside. Years ago when we could park below the dike, I walked a trail downstream and heard a splash into a pool in the river. I waited and heard the swimmer exit the water and take a good shake. A very wet red fox then walked out, looked at me and headed away in the other direction. Fun experience.

    June 27, 2011
  3. jameshuntphotography #

    Thanks! What a great story Stephen. One of the interesting things about spending so much time in a wilderness, watching animals is getting to see them being clutzy, just like people! Nice to know we’re not the only ones. Seriously there is still a lot of wildlife around the Dike area. Bear have been spotted there, and we’ve seen quite a few deer and of course the ubiquitous turkeys and many smaller critters. When we were taking this shot though it was clear that something very big was rustling about in the woods. There was a lot of non-wind related noise coming from inside the forest and no DCR trucks were around. Maybe deer, but they are usually pretty stealthy. Who knows? Thanks again.

    June 28, 2011
  4. Interesting James. Moose have been seen in the beaver pond on Route 9, so there’s another possibility for you. 🙂

    June 28, 2011

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