The story of Jack Dykinga's photo, made at the Salto Grande waterfall in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, begins with Jack's observation that the lenga tree at the gorge's edge was leaning in the direction of the water's flow. He decided to compose the photo to emphasize that fact and placed the tree off center in the frame. Then he chose a slow shutter speed to accentuate the power of the rushing water, creating a sense of movement in the image and guiding the viewer's eye along the perceived path of that movement.
And there was one more thing he could do: "Shape and motion drive this image," Jack says, "and making it a horizontal panorama reinforces those ideas." To produce the panorama, he shifted the PC (perspective control) lens on his tripod-mounted camera, first left, then center, then right on the horizontal plane, creating three overlapping pictures that would later be stitched in Adobe Photoshop to provide a single image. He also used the PC lens' tilt function to insure sharp focus near-to-far.
But as you can see from this version of the image, the story isn't over.
The reason for the conversion to black & white was to emphasize the design of the image and test the strength of its composition without the distraction of color. "I think in color," Jack says, "but increasingly I'm finding my better, well-composed, well-designed images will work either way, color or black & white."
Both versions of the image are featured in Jack's new book, Capture the Magic: Train Your Eye, Improve Your Photographic Composition, and, as all the photographs in the book, they epitomize his belief that "the more thought that goes into making the photograph, and the more that you define the particular moment in time, the better the image is going to be."
The specs: D3X, PC-E Micro NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8D ED, 2 seconds, f/16, ISO 100, manual exposure, Matrix metering; black-and-white conversion and fine-tuning of the black & white image done with Nik Silver Efex Pro software.