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Finding the Picture with Brooks Jensen

Finding the Emotional Crop

A sunny day in The Grotto in Portland, Oregon. Deep in the woods that is the upper tier garden, the sun was slanting in and making spots of spectacular illumination here and there. It popped through the dense trees and illuminated this statue of an angel along side the trail. I quite like this image and think I would be happy with it — if I hadn't discovered a better one.

After I had made the exposure above, I thought I was done and had my photograph. I had a picuture of "a statue in the sunlight." When I got back home, however, and started looking through the images in Lightroom, I discovered a variation I had made just a few minutes earlier as I was approaching. From that further distance, the images feels more "genuine" — almost like I've rounded a corner and spied this angel before she spots me and vanishes. There is a sense of witnessing a very magical and even private moment. The much larger field of dark and shadow also enhances the sense of the angel existing in the glow of the Almighty. Instead of a stature in the sunlight, it feels more like an angel bathed in Holy illumination.

I'm lucky I didn't approach from the opposite direction and miss this shot as I was walking away. Who knows? Maybe it was a moment of photographic grace and an unexpected gift.

Tech data:

Panasonic G9 using a Panasonic Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens at 60mm. ISO 200. f/4.5 at 1/1600th sec.