Selection of January 2023: Watermountain by Julia Redl

Watermountain by Julia Redl

I love to hike on my travels. In the summer of 2020, I was lucky enough to visit Iceland with almost no tourists. Even in Vik in the south of Iceland I was almost alone. The weather was beautiful, almost too beautiful to photograph, yet I made my way up to the bird cliff famous for its flocks of puffins. Besides the cute birds, I hoped to get a nice bird's eye view of the rock needles on Reynisdrangar beach, so famous among photographers.

The photo overlooking the beach Reynisdrangar was taken around noon. Despite the beautiful weather, it was terribly windy. The gusts were sometimes so strong that I was afraid of being blown over, or even away. To photograph the puffins, I had to walk to the cliff edge. There however, the rocks plunged steeply up to 220 m into the depth. Because of the strong wind, it was almost impossible to get to the edge of the cliff, and I could only see the birds as small black dots through the telephoto lens. While lying down and looking into the depth, I then noticed the white crests of the waves running out on the black beach. At that moment I also had my subject.

While editing the photo, I decided to make an abstract image out of it. I rotated the image once by 45 degrees, so that the waves now also looked like snow-covered mountains. Then I made the dark areas even darker. Lastly, I changed the texture of the water by moving the Texture and Clarity sliders in Lightroom further to the left. The square format has a special attraction for me, so I changed the original format from 3:2 to 1:1. I intentionally placed the highest mountain peak in the right third of the image, because the human eye/brain prefers to look at this part of an image. 

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