How I Got the Shot: Adam Taylor on a Surreal Landscape Photo


Take a look at the super-cool landscape photo above. How do you think it was shot? The scene was photographed by photographer Adam Taylor, and we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pick his brain on how he achieved the final result.

For even more education, you can check out the rest of our "How I Got the Shot" series of blog posts.

Gear Used

- Canon 1Ds Mark III

- Canon 24mm f1.4 L and 85mm f1.2 L

- Manfrotto Carbon Fiber 055CXPRO4 with 498RC2 Ball Head.

Adam's Vision

According to Adam, this is a hidden location that is quite difficult to get to. He has travelled to the location before, and has taken a range of images. But this time around, it was a bit different. The conditions featured a bright sky, low tide, and small surf.

This wasn't suggestive of what he was after, though. Here's more from Adam:

"Upon reviewing those files, I came up with the concept for what you see in the final image. Surreal, other-worldly, dramatic atmosphere, with a surfer just about to challenge the elements. To achieve this drama and atmosphere, I would have to come back at high tide with a big surf running, to get the movement and wash of water around the pinnacle."

Adam's Plan

To get the photo, Adam embarked on a three-hour trek to the location with a tent, food, and camera gear, in order to be able to get the image at dawn. Here's how Adam described the scene:

"Just as the sun was rising, the clouds came in and it was dark, and not very spectacular. But then, as the sun came up, it brushed through for a couple of minutes, and illuminated the clouds and the pinnacle. This transformed the setting into something striking, loaded with atmosphere."

Adam believes it was worth the effort.

EDIT: In terms of shooting this image, Adam used, "F/22 at 1/8th of a second to get the movement of water, and 50 ISO. He also used an NDx8 filter so as to be able to work with this slow shutter speed."


Adam's post-production consisted of:

- Editing through the shots to find the surfer in just the right body position.

- Finding the most powerful waterscape, with the water swirling around the pinnacle, and the light brushing against it.

- Combining the two in Photoshop.

To see more of Adam's work, check out his website and his blog.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of B&H Photo, Video, Pro Audio


Please explain how you use 2 lenses as described in the gear used section?

How was this shot so perfectly, it is almost mysterious .?What was the technique and settings of the camera?

Really impressing shot!

Martin ( )