Henry Roberts  

Spring Arrival Lake Superior by Henry Roberts

May 2021 - Spring Arrival Lake Superior

May 2021 - Henry Roberts


About the Image(s)

In Duluth, Minnesota we are always pleased to see the first iron ore carrier arrive from the lower Great Lakes to pick up a load of taconite (iron ore) pellets to take to the steel mills at the other end of the Great Lakes. This was a simply made hand held image with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105 zoom lens, 1/350th f8 from the deck of our home. Please note that on a relatively still day, Lake Superior can look stippled as it does here. And of course when a stiff northeaster is blowing, it can look fearsome. In PS raw, I played with the sliders.

What do you think and what would you differently?

2 comments posted

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
Hi Henry

Growing up in Chicago near the likely end of this ships voyage (heading to Gary Indiana) I've seen similar views many times. Shots like this always tend to look better when being captured than when viewer (after all, these ships are huge!) I feel as if the potential impact of this scene is hurt my your composition. When first looking at this scene the sky is overwhelming. Remember the eye is subconsciously drawn to the brightest part of the frame, and that is the sky. Unless you want me to look at the sky, may I suggest a panorama crop and thus reduce much of the potentially distracting sky? Secondly, the poor tree on the right appears to be drowning in the lake. I would therefore suggest using a lower camera angle to catch some of the land and thus provide the tree a place to live and grow.

While all the above are cosmetic changes I think the real question, is exactly what was your intent when you captured this scene? Were you just trying to capture a pleasant day at the lake? Were you trying to show the coming of spring, or were you trying to show the ore carrier? A good landscape image has a strong subject that is clear and leaps out of the scene and grabs the viewer. If the subject is to be the ore carrier, I think you need a longer lens.   Posted: 05/12/2021 12:08:53

Andrew Hersom   Andrew Hersom
It's a nice sky. The lighting is a bit flat though. What strikes me is the amount of empty space in the photo - I don't know if that was the intention - "the lonely sea and the sky" but this image doesn't really grab me.
I wonder whether a different viewpoint (if that is possible) from upstairs and including more of the foreground, avoiding the tree cutting through the horizon like it does might be better. Just a thought. But Larry's comment about a longer lens is also valid.   Posted: 05/12/2021 12:27:43


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