Behind the Shot – Rangitoto Island – Richard Young


The water was an important part of my composition but its messy surface was a distraction, taking the eye away from the subject of the shot.


A first in a new feature, Richard Young – leader of New Zealand Photography Workshops – talks to us about how he shot one of his images , ‘Rangitoto Island’.

“Finding these beautiful rock formations just above the tideline at sunset, offered a perfect foreground to frame Rangitoto Island. I want to make these rocks the main subject of the photograph, capturing the weathered shape that had been created by the waves moving over them. The water was an important part of my composition but its messy surface was a distraction, taking the eye away from the subject of the shot. By using a 6 stop Master ND filter I could lengthen my shutter speed to 30 seconds and blur the water, isolating the rocks to add simplicity to my photograph.”

“Even though I was not shooting directly into the sun, the sky was still a lot brighter the foreground and the whole scene was beyond the range I could correctly expose, even with the 14 stops of dynamic range offered by camera. I positioned a 2 stop hard graduated filter on the horizon to increase exposure and show shadow detail in the rocks, while not to overexposing the sky and losing the lovely soft pastel tone of the sunset I want to capture.”
– Richard Young

You can also learn how to capture Long Exposures like this and try out Benro Filter systems for free on our Auckland and Wellington 1-Day Long Exposure Workshops with New Zealand Photography Workshops.

Gear Used

Benro FH100 mkII Professional Landscape Kit
BENRO PRO LANDSCAPE KIT
Benro C3780TN Combination Tripod
Benro C3780TN Combination
Benro G3 Head
Benro G3 Ball Head
Nikon D850
About the Author
Richard Young is a full-time landscape and wildlife photographer based in Wellington. He has been guiding groups of photographers in New Zealand since 2010 and founded New Zealand Photography Workshops in 2013.

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