Many times when I am in the field my mind races with thoughts about how to handle certain subjects and conditions. We were in Serra Cafema, Namibia in the dune fields early pre dawn and again at sunset for several days in a row. As a photographer you are always looking for a new point of view and the sun had set and it was basically time for the classic African Sundowner of drinks and snacks but I wasn’t quite done shooting. The wind was blowing and the dunes were pretty much in the shadow but I had one of my mentors Pete Turner glued in my mind. The sunset itself was gorgeous but the dunes not so much and I remembered a classic shot from Pete of a giraffe running across a purple desert and flaming red sky. I set my camera to tungsten to get the blues and just as the sun was setting behind a far away dune I felt a little bit of Pete as I depressed the shutter.
As a sidetone before anyone asks, this was digital so I could have adjusted the white balance to tungsten in post but why not get it right in camera to begin with, which is why I set the balance to tungsten.
Influences from artists that inspire us are cherished moments and learning from these masters has helped me find my own place on this planet as a photographer. So many days there is a little bit of Jay Maisel, Pete Turner, Eric Meola and others in my mind. Whose presence do you feel when you are in the field and I would love to see examples…
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