By Hal Tretbar
The other day I was having lunch at the Velvet Elvis in Patagonia when I had an Eye-catcher moment. There it was: a shaft of light hitting the table next to us. It grabbed my eye and before I could look away I had my cell phone out to record the interesting light and composition.
Random House Dictionary defines an eye-catcher as a thing or person that attracts attention. For me it has to be something unusual to get my attention.
This was a very difficult exposure because it was so high contrast. The brilliant back light was illuminating the silver colored utensils on a dark table. If I exposed for the bright light I would have no detail in the shadows, so I just under exposed one stop and played with the image in Photoshop.
Nokia Lumina ISO 100 f2.2 1/701 second
When I returned to my car in the parking lot, I saw the mid day sun bouncing off of this wheel’s shiny rim. The reflection hit the shadow between the cars and illuminated the parking stripes. Interesting lighting and composition, I thought, and out came the cell phone.
Nokia ISO 100 f2.2 1/370 second
It was late in a winter afternoon in Flagstaff. I came out of the door and my eye caught the setting sun peeking through the trees to spotlight the melting ice pile. My Nikon was handy so I set a small aperture for depth of field and to make the sun’s rays radiate.
Nikon 600 ISO 160 f22 1/150 second
Most eye-catchers for me have to do with unusual lighting but not always. One day I was sitting in the patio with nothing on my mind. Then I looked at the sky. The interesting clouds caught both my eye and my brain. Wow, I thought, that really is a mare’s tail. The cell phone was ready to get the best shot of the wispy patterns.
A mare’s tail is defined as a long narrow cirrus cloud whose flowing appearance somewhat resembles a horse’s tail.
Nokia ISO 100 f.2.2 1/935 second
So be ready for that moment when your eye catches something really interesting and dramatic. Grab your camera or cell phone and have some fun.
Hal Tretbar is a trip leader with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes.