A risk worth taking – how an uncommon perspective can get you a winning image!

One of my favourite images is the most recent one, Fisherman’s House. The light, perspective and framing came together in a moment of serendipity. When I examined this image I realized that I would not be able to capture it without searching for an uncommon perspective.

© Olaf Sztaba, Fuji X-Pro1, Fujinon XF 18mm F2 R.

On the weekend I was staying in Uclulet on Vancouver Island about 35 km from famous Tofino. I knew the sun was rising that day about 5:00 AM, so I woke up at 4 to have enough time to drive to Tofino and catch my favourite early morning light (I even sacrificed my usual morning coffee!).

While walking along the shoreline in Tofino trying to find an interesting viewpoint, I ended up near a little pier where people rent kayaks. The natural reaction would be to face beautiful Tofino Inlet, part of Clayoquot Sound. Indeed, the blue waters backed by impressive mountains and hills made quite an impression. However, I couldn’t find the right perspective. My efforts to extract certain elements didn’t bring satisfying results and the direction of the light was not cooperating either. Then I turned around and experienced an instant “WOW.” In the golden light coming from the left, I saw a red house, a pathway going up and a boat on the grass. Then I noticed beautiful clouds above that completed the image. My Fuji X-Pro1 was able to capture my vision perfectly with unbeatable Fuji colour.

As I realized later once the tourists had arrived, everyone pointed their cameras in the same direction, toward the Inlet. I am sure some of them took great images but with one proviso that most of them will be similar. With this experience in mind, I always try to find an uncommon perspective. While travelling I never decide on a certain perspective or object. You could be standing before the most popular tourist landmark but would never know your winning image was hiding behind you.

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