Home Landscape The First Ray Of Light over Mt. Kanchenjunga

The First Ray Of Light over Mt. Kanchenjunga

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kanchenjunga peak

First Ray Of Light

The Sunrise

This is my first post in this blog, and i hope that i can write down my experiences of being a photographer well enough so that people might look at it, and like them.

This picture of Mt.Kanchenjunga, which is the 3rd highest peak in the world, is located on the boundary of Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim. More information about Mt. Kanchenjunga can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangchenjunga .

Now coming back to the topic of what i love doing, that is, to be shutter happy. This shot was taken from Darjeeling, while the sun was just about to come up above the horizon. This shot particularly is very special to me, because of the amount of work that i had put behind this shot.People might get surprised to know that this shot was taken very easily with the help of a Tamron 70-300mm lens within a matter of 2 minutes. But to get the kind of effect i was aiming for, a lot of planning was needed beforehand. Landscape shots is a genre of photography which to me is 50% preparation, 25% technique and 25% luck.

Firstly one point i often see people make is that their landscape shots just does not pop. I ask them one question, “what differentiates a photograph from being a snapshot to being a breathtaking shot?”. The answer to that question is light.If we can plan and manage to photograph the landscape in dramatic lighting conditions the photograph is executed properly with correct exposure and right composition, is bound to pop.

I had envisioned to take this picture long before i was physically present there. Good pictures can very well be executed rather than leaving it to chance, and firing your shutter away, hoping one out of the several shots would turn up to be a worthwhile shot. I wanted to list down a few things which i always look for before i go out on any landscape shots.

  • When is the place best lit, by that i mean which light would be better dawn or dusk.
  • When is the sun going to rise, or going to set. Knowing these timings helps a lot, so that one may reach the location in time so that he may scout the location, and work out a good composition.A very reliable site which gives this information is The Photo Ephemeris.
  • There is no second to a good composition. Work the scene, do not get stuck on one place, scout the area and see plausible compositions and then make a wise decision on which perspective compositions are going to work the best for the shot.
  • In a landscape shot it helps if there is a foreground, a middle ground, and a background. It gives an inherent depth to an image which is actually put together in a photograph in a 2-dimensional format.
  • One more important thing that i would like to say, is that a landscape photographer needs immense amount of patience. If he/she can keep his calm and wait for just the right moment, they are surely to have some unique and absolutely brilliant photographs.

The time when i photographed Mt. Kanchenjunga, i followed the above listed things. I knew beforehand that the sun was going to rise on that particular day at 5.37am. I managed to get up quite early that morning. So i had packed my camera gear, got hold of the tripod, and was out before 5am scouting for locations. After about 20 minutes of scouting the place, found a small ridge, from where i expected that the view might be an awesome one. I set up my camera, on my tripod, its freezing cold, and cold winds are going down my spine. Now comes the part of patience. Patience because i had to wait for around 35 minutes or so, before finally the cloud cover cleared and i got a majestic view of the Himalayas.

The magic hour’s as these are popularly known as only last for about one to one and a half hour’s. So preparing for the shot beforehand gave me ample time to work on my composition, and the best camera settings.

This photograph will always be special to me, as i think this was only the starting of my addiction to landscape photography.

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