Isolating Your Subject From Above

February 24, 2023

Dinghy, Azemmour, MoroccoDinghy, Azemmour, Morocco

Dinghy, Azemmour, Morocco. Fujifilm X-H2, 150-600mm Fujinon lens

Over the years, a lot of friends and magazine contributors have travelled to Morocco and the photographs I remember the most are of the Atlas Mountains and the small boats scattered along the Atlantic coast. As I write this, I'm in the Atlas Mountains, having just spent a mere day on the coast.

And there are lots of boats along the coast! Wooden boats are immediately appealing to most people. Add in a stylistic difference and they gain even more momentum - well, they do for me. Now, it's a matter of isolating the shape and one of the easiest ways to do this is to find a vantage point up high so you can surround your subject with water. This dingy was photographed from the ancient walls of Azemmour, a small coastal town on the way south from Casablanca to Essaouira.

While I love long exposures and blurred water, this is an exercise in frustration as the dinghy will inevitably move around its mooring due to currents or winds. As it turns out, the faster shutter speeds (around 1/125 second) froze the dappled pattern of light upon the water remarkably well. It's a simple composition and not particularly original.

I have quickly processed a series of four dinghies and this is one of them. Processing it in Lightroom made it very easy to select the subject and background separately, giving me exposure, colour and contrast control over them independently. I hope you like it!


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