Kirchsee take 2

A couple of weeks ago I posted a short story about a shot at a lake called Kirchsee, which I thought was not quite optimal. A few days later, on the way back from a rather unsuccessful photo trip, I drove back to the same location to retake the shot.

The conditions were similar in that it was dusk and it was cloudy. This time however, it was a bit later in the day so the light was even less; the clouds were nowhere near as interesting as the last time; it was raining the whole time, lightly at the start but very heavily towards the end of the photo shoot; It was windy and there were waves, i.e. no reflections.

Nevertheless, I dogged on, determined to make the alternative shot and compare with the original, which by the way you can see again here:

Kirchsee, Lake, Bayern, Notis Stamos, B&W
Faulty, I think, but moody. For some reason I can’t get my eyes of it.

The next nasty surprise came from the really annoying bush just on the right of the tree. I hadn’t noticed how high it was. It didn’t allow me to try the shot I was planning since I had to set up the camera really high to salvage some lake view.

Kirchsee, Notis Stamos, Lake, Rain
Really annoying bush.

The tree looks really small from up here, not at all what I was hoping for. I am also loosing part of the pier with this lens angle. The rough water surface made me choose a longer exposure to even it out (this is 3 sec). Sadly no cloud reflections on the water.  All in all, not as good as the first one.

Moving further to the right meant I could escape the bush. I pointed the camera to the left and that meant I had to use a wider lens so as not to loose the pier completely.

Kirchsee, Notis Stamos, Lake, Rain
Getting darker now. And the rain is picking up.

This was the only option at pointing the camera to the left without the bush in the way and without loosing the pier. I don’t like the grass on the lower right on this one and the water is featureless (by choice; 4 sec exposure). So all in all, a rather uninteresting photo in my opinion.

With the rain seriously pouring , the wind picking up and the light disappearing by now, I thought enough was enough with trying to improve the old shot. Instead I decided to focus on photographing what it was like at the moment i.e. a rainy dusk at a mountain lake, rough lake surface broken by raindrops, each minute darker than the one before. I experimented a bit with exposure and finally chose the following shot:

Kirchsee, Notis Stamos, Lake, Rain
Dark and wet!

At home I darkened the whole photo by about 15%, added vignette to cover some imperfections at the edges and, most importantly, I added the rain. As I wrote above, it was really pouring, but the rain wasn’t visible in the dark. So I took the artistic liberty of adding it back myself, to make up for the wet ride back home.

In the end I didn’t manage to get the shot I went there for. Nevertheless, each day outdoors is a different one, there is no guarantee one will get what one is hoping for. But I am not complaining. How many rainy night shots did I have before that night anyway?


© 2014 Epameinondas Stamos


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