Sunlight, Vineyard, Storm Clouds. Rancho Seco, Sacramento County, California. May 15, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.
Second post in my self-critique series. Photograph was taken after a half-day shooting near the Sacramento Delta area. While driving back home, I passed a wide expanse of vineyards across from the defunct Rancho Seco nuclear power plant. The sun was shining down on the landscape from the west and storm clouds were in the north. After seeing the scene and deciding it was worth getting out to shoot, I had to make a quick u-turn and setup for the shot just as light rain began to fall and as the sunlight started creeping behind clouds.
So, what’s wrong with this photo? Well, I was forced to crop the bottom because it was showing the end of each row of grape vines and it’s rather unsightly. The inspiration for this shot is the countless photos of Scottish Highlands or vast fields in Washington. I just couldn’t execute it.
How could this have been fixed? One would be to move to a higher vantage point. The vineyard across the road was significantly higher and would have allowed me to show more of the foreground yellow instead of the narrow strip you see here. Of course, keep in mind, I would have had to make that my first shot location since the sunlight disappeared within 2 minutes of me stepping outside of my car. Second, while dramatic, the clouds didn’t have enough variation. It’s very close a sheet of grey. That’s not something I could have fixed, but merely being at the right place at the right time.
EXIF data: Nikon D50, patterned metering mode, 55mm, ISO 200, 1/25 sec, f/16