New perspectives

on
The Fallen
The Fighting Newfoundlander. The flecks of red on the plinth are red, plastic Remembrance Day poppies that visitors have jammed into the crevices.

It can be very tricky to get a new angle on an old shot. Public parks and grounds that are particularly well-travelled and epitomize this challenge, since everyone, their uncle and their fourth cousin, three times removed, takes their camera and snaps the same shot.

The statue above, The Fighting Newfoundlander, in Bowring Park, has been photographed umpteen times in all seasons. I was walking by yesterday when I spotted the magnolia bush in bloom. Or rather, I smelled it and turned around to find out where it was. Kneeling down to enjoy this rarity (they are challenging to grow in Newfoundland and less frequently found therefore), I glanced up and spotted the statue.

The shot framed itself instantly in my mind and it was a question of balancing the need for as long a shot as possible to get the depth of field (using a small aperture), working with the high contrast between the white flowers and the rest of the shot, timing for when the moments when the sun glinted out from behind a cloud, and also working between vigorous gusts of wind that rippled the flowers and blurred everything. The tripod left my hands free to manage the variables and the remote shutter enabled me to get my shadow out of the frame.

I’m rather pleased with how this came out.

Shot at ISO 100, f22, shutter speed 0.5, focal length 11mm (Tokina 11-16mm lens) with an exposure compensation of -0.3, for those interested. Also had an ND graduated filter on, but at the lowest level.

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