Stoney Creek Metropolitan Park
As a Michigan native, I have always been enamored by fall colors – it is truly one of the perks to living in the Midwest. This simple photo is an example of how the photography gear is not what makes the photograph; it is the composition that trumps almost everything else.
This photo was taken with a very inexpensive camera and lens (a Nikon D3000 with the kit lens, which can be purchased together for under 300$). It doesn’t matter though, because I will always look at this photo as being one of the best I’ve captured. This is simply due to the compositional elements that help make it a unique and impactful image.
I captured this image when I was first learning photography, and I will never forget the sense of excitement I felt when this composition caught my eye and I was able to capture it effectively.
Image Code: A013
Switzerland is a marvelous and enchanting country. However, the first time I visited, a layer of thick clouds blanketed the entire nation! It was so bad I couldn’t even see a single, beautiful peak. In fact, during my travels I befriended an Israeli tourist and we questioned amongst ourselves “aren’t there supposed to be mountains here?”
Luckily, on my second trip to Switzerland the weather was perfect and I was able to to really enjoy the scenery. After over a week on the road I decided to rest in Grindelwald for a few days. This town is almost like the Swiss version of Telluride, a sleepy village nestled between towering peaks.
During my time in town, I didn’t have any major shoots planned; I was merely relaxing and enjoying the alpine views surrounding me. I snapped this photo while leisurely riding one of those famous Swiss cable cars up to a mountains peak. Luckily for me, I brought my camera along and when the cable cars window framed the mountain so perfectly I was able to capture this shot!
However, my luck with the weather quickly changed. After I snapped this image, I noticed the cable car was carrying me up into a pea-soup thick wall of clouds! By the time we entered into the clouds, I could barely see ten feet in front of my face.
Hey, at least this time I actually got to see and photograph those beautiful peaks!
Image Code: A038
Skógafoss, Southern Iceland
Second place info
I love Iceland, and I have always been interested in visiting this nation since most of my favorite musical bands are Icelandic. It is an incredibly safe country to visit; you can just rent a car and explore the countryside with total confidence. The people are friendly and the landscape is simply stunning.
The common story is that Iceland was given its name to trick the Vikings into avoiding it in favor of Greenland, hoping that the name was representative of the scenery. In actuality the Norwegian explorer Floki named Iceland simply because of an unusually harsh winter he endured upon first discovering the Island. The story goes that at one point, Floki climbed a mountain and looked out over the land only to see it completely covered with ice. When spring arrived, he returned to Norway and as people asked him about the new land he simply said something along the lines of “oh, it’s nothing but an ice land… don’t bother going there”. In time, the Vikings ended up migrating there anyways and the name stuck.
In truth, Floki merely had a terrible first impression of Iceland because, in actuality, it really is a beautifully lush country– full of rolling green hills and glorious mountains.
I spent a week traveling across the nation, and there were very few places that could even come close to being considered less than scenically dramatic and beautiful. Plus, with not many more that 300,000 people living there (most living in and around Reykjavik), traveling the country roads truly gives you a sensation of peaceful solitude in nature.
This should truly be on the bucket list of everyone interested in international travel!
Image Code: A049