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Stavneset lighthouse - playing with compositions

It is important to use the opportunities you get to take photographs, and as a family father it is a good idea to combine family trips with photography. It places some restrictions on time and place, but if you do not have too high expectations, you can still get some good pictures and learn something new.

Stavneset lighthouse on Averøy is a simple and nice hike that is suitable for families with children, and they also have waffle service on Sundays (yummy!). The light was not perfect, but of course I took the camera bag and went in search of new compositions and angles.

Althoug the pictures may not win any awards, it is always nice to practice routine and skills in the hunt for the composition. I have to admit that I have a way to go when it comes to becoming experienced enough in technical camera skills. It is improving, but I'm constantly learning new things. This time I had previously managed to set the exposure compensation to +1, so that all the images were overexposed. Fortunately, I discovered this, and I understood why all my pictures had been so bright for a while (duh!).

With the camera settings under control, I was able to continue. Since the clouds were very pale and dull, I did not put much emphasis on exposure, but focused on trying to find a good composition.

The first thing I tried was this:

This is a very obvious composition, but I like that the path leads the eyes towards the main subject.

What I could really want was capturing the sea on the other side, but this was very difficult due to the terrain. Maybe I'll try again another time.

I climbed over the fence, to try to find something else that worked. The main principle in a good composition is to have a main subject, something interesting in the foreground, and something in between. The main subject here is of course the lighthouse, and the middle ground are the rocks. I therefore tried to find an interesting foreground.

I found a puddle, and adjusted the tripod so that the camera was lower. I do not think this worked completely. The small puddle of water is not big or exciting enough to form an interesting foreground.

Another tip I have picked up is to place the camera almost completely on the ground, and use a wide angle on the lens to inflate the foreground and make it more exciting. I found another pond with water, and placed the camera significantly lower:

This worked well enough. I could not bear to pick up the wide-angle lens that was up by the lighthouse, but with a super zoom of 28mm I still get quite wide. I have also put on a polarizing filter that removes reflections, so we can see much more details below the water surface.

Finally, I find a depression in the terrain where I can get some tufts of grass in the foreground:

Once again, it worked poorly. The grass becomes too dominant without being particularly interesting, and the angle makes the lighthouse less visible.

Still, I am very happy to have gotten some training in finding compositions, and done suitably well on pictures 1 and 3 above. It's fun to experiment, and if you can only get a little better each time, you can eventually make great progress.

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