On April 10, 1927, American photographer Ansel Adams and his friends set out to take pictures of Yosemite National Park’s iconic granite summit – the Half Dome. He had to first hike to a rock slab some 1,066 metres above the valley floor in California, US, while loaded down with his 20kg backpack, which was full of camera equipment.
At just the right moment, when the sun was illuminating the entire cliff face, Adams released the shutter… and instantly knew something was wrong.
There was a shadow on the cliff, gray like the sky, which was completely destroying the drama of the image.
So Adams thought quickly. He used a deep red filter for his next shot, which caused the sky to darken to a dark gray, and to emphasise the white snow on the Half Dome. He called the photograph ‘Monolith’.
It would quickly become the photograph that would propel him into the limelight, and help brand him as one of the greatest photographers of his time.
The career-changing image, according to art resource website artsy.net, marked what Adams called his first successful ‘visualisation’ – the careful determining of all the elements of a photograph before clicking the picture. In the 1930’s, a decade later, Adams would use this experience to come up with a photography technique called the Zone System, which is still taught in photography schools today. The method guarantees correct exposure in every situation, no matter how bad the lighting.
Our winning reader photographers seem to have paid attention to Adams’ lessons, with striking landscape images of their own.
We asked Gulf News’ twitter followers to pick their favourite reader photograph of the month of August. They retweeted the picture they liked best. The pictures were ranked based on the highest number of retweets. Here, we present the winners.
Editor’s note: Do you want to participate in our monthly Reader Picture Competition? Send us your best photographs, with captions, at email@example.com.
Sabah Saleem is based in Dubai, and uses the instagram handle @saba_saleem.
Her photograph shows the vibrant Cinque Terre town of Manarola, in Italy, at dawn. She said: ‘Some of the beautiful things that we see and adore come from Nature, and something like a sunrise is always soothing to watch. This is a place where you would fall in love with Nature all over again!’
Her picture received 37 retweets and 37 likes on twitter, landing her in first place.
Zohaib Anjum works in a real estate company, based in Dubai.
He uses the instagram handle @zohaibanjumvisuals, and took this picture of rain clouds gathering over the Al Madam area of Dubai.
Twitter user @tantra341 commented on his image: “That’s the beauty of Nature! Great picture.”
Anjum’s photograph received 35 retweets and 43 likes on twitter.
Harshith Belagur is an engineering student at the National Institute of Technology, in Warangal, India, but has grown up in the UAE.
His picture shows the Caucasus mountain range of Georgia. Belagur said: ‘I took this photograph using an iPhone 7 Plus. The scenic beauty, and the way the surroundings blended with the sky, gave me a beautiful opportunity for a photograph.’
His photograph garnered 9 retweets and 14 likes on twitter.