Im always a bit intimidated at photographing at areas that have been heavily shot. I don’t want to write off the well known compositions just because they are popular, they are famous for a reason. However, Im not too keen on reproducing the same shots that everyone else does.
I would like to be able to find something new (new to me anyway) and I also don’t want to shoot the area so abstractly that nobody knows where it is.
So where do I begin? I know I want to include some of the river, otherwise its cheating and it could be anywhere. I also want to emphasize some of the elements on top on the plateau. I had my panoramic camera with me and did not like what I was seeing through it. So I basically said screw it, just wander around, enjoy the beautiful area and see if anything stands out.
Seconds after I shifted my mindset, this lovely swirly rock on the side of the cliff caught my eye. I thought this element could potentially have some relationship with the river. So I worked at having the rivers shape be carried through the rock in the foreground. Moving back and forth, up and down until the swirl was lined up pretty well. Cool, those 2 elements are working. Next…find something on the plateau that ties it all together.
My original composition did not include the mountain to the top left. But it needed something up there to help guide the eye through the frame…preferably something that is on the upper left. If the mountain was on the upper right, the composition would have been way to heavy and biased on the right side. So I inched this way and that until it all lined up and felt balanced.