First Touch by Andrzej Muzaj
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Andrzej Muzaj's picture

First Touch

September 6, 2018

To all of you guys this sea-stack is probably very well known. It's a famous Hvítserkur, which can be found near the north shore of Iceland.

The idea for this shot came to me as I was looking for a composition and saw some tourists walking by and standing beneath it (thanks to the very low tide). They looked so small compared to this enormous rock. Now, I don't include people much in my photos, but in an instance I recognized that this shot can be enhanced a great deal by giving it a proper sense of scale. I set up my tripod, planted the camera and dialed the settings, and then took my focus-stacking exposures. Then I set a self timer, pressed the shutter button and run to greet with the giant (it wasn't that easy and elegant in waders! :D).

A very low tide gave me an opportunity to actually go right next to it and touch it, which at the moment felt incredibly humbling and exhilarating. To me Hvítserkur looks like a fossilized, drinking dinosaur, so for few seconds I felt just like Dr. Grant entering the Jurassic Park for the first time. It was as much exciting as humbling experience to feel that kind of connection with it. Feel free to hum a Jurassic Park theme, as I did when I post-processed this image. ;)

Given the color neutrality of the scene (weather made the light pretty dull) I decided to include a radioactive-green algae in the foreground.

Please, let me know what you think. I'm really happy with how the photo came out, but I'm always eager to hear other people's thoughts.

16 mm · f/11 · 1/25 s · ISO 100
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2 Comments

Chris Jablonski's picture

Very striking, dramatic and beautiful image. Good composition. For me, the figure detracts, but that's a minor point. Well done.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

HI Chris, thank you for your input. I hesitated myself about placing the figure there, but decided that it enhances the impact for me. I absolutely understand that you may think otherwise. For many shots I think that myself. ;)