Lending Focus to a Grand Landscape
When a big, fat, sprawling landscape spreads out in front of you, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and wonder how to compose it.
To make sense of it all, I always look for some structure… and a point where the story lives. In this case, it was where the vertical rows of vineyard met the horizontal row of trees.
Deciding On Focus & DOF
I most wanted the trees in focus. Why? Because they spoke of “place”. You see these craggy looking mush oak trees in Napa and Sonoma valleys. This scene happened to be in Napa. I grew up in Glen Ellen, which is right over the mountain in Sonoma Valley – so whenever I see them it takes me back to another place and wonderful time. I’ve always loved these trees!
But they were waaaaayyyyyy across yonder. So I got my 70-300mm lens and pulled them almost all the way in, at f/5.7. With a shallow depth of field like that, the vineyard rows would be less in focus… the trees would be super sharp… and everything behind them softer again. I like the compression factor of a powerful zoom like that too.
Processing the Vibe
Processing: I went nostalgic and and a little scruffy. Old photos and memories aren’t perfect. I wanted this image to feel like a memory. Warm, varied, a little faded and blurry around the edges. Late afternoon. Well worn. Better with time. Still wearing bold colors. Just like some people I know. 😀