The lake created for photography; Işıklı

There is a lake that has been presented as a new discovery (!) on social media in recent months. The image of a boat slowly moving among the blooming water lilies on the lake was shared on many accounts on social media, and it was announced with the words "There is such a lake in Turkey." However, this lake is a place where we have been able to visit many times for many years and study many different photography subjects and techniques... As these shares increased, I wanted to share with you sample photographs of Işıklı Lake, located in Çivril district of Denizli, where we made our first trip in 2016 under the guidance of dear Nuri Çorbacıoğlu. Before we start, let me tell you that the photo of the boat among the water lilies is not included in this article. But I will try to write tips on how to work with many different photographs...

As always, first prepare for the trip…
Every photographic trip, unless it is a thematic trip like safaris, has an important phase in terms of preparing a lot of equipment. While we prepare certain lenses for thematic trips, we must also take lenses with different visual effects for different topics on other trips.

Camera: I recommend having 2 cameras with you, one as a spare, on all photography trips. I carry OM System OM-1 and OM-5 bodies with me on my travels. This way, I have the chance to use all lenses on different cameras. Of course, I also have spare batteries and memory cards with me for the shooting we will be doing throughout the day. In addition, these models' high ISO performance and surprising anti-shake feature enable them to work very comfortably in low-light conditions such as sunrise and sunset. I can get very successful results by using these stems in the video works that I have been trying to focus on lately.

Lens: On this route, we will mainly work on nature photographs. We will also take sunrise, sunset and star photos. For this reason, we will need lenses of different focal lengths.

We need wide angle lenses, especially for general image shooting. We have the chance to take many reflection photos at Işıklı Lake. I prefer Om System M. Zuiko's 8-25 mm f4 Pro and 7-14 mm f2.8 Pro lenses for these shots.

Of course, it is important to have general use lenses with us. For this reason, one of Om System M. Zuiko's 12-45 mm f4, 12-40 mm f2.8 or 12-100 mm f4 pro lenses should definitely be with us...

I can say that the 40-150 mm f2.8 Pro or 40-150 mm f4 Pro lens will be an important part of this trip, especially for the silhouette shots we will take at sunset. Tele lenses are very useful in these shots due to both limited depth of field use and perspective accumulation.

Filter & Tripod: We need auxiliary equipment for some technical work we will do on this route. One of these is the ND (Neutral Density) filter that we use for long exposure studies. For this filter, I use and recommend the B&W brand's one that refracts light by 10 stops, classified as 3.0 or 1000x.

Of course, it is important to have a tripod for both long exposure studies and star exposure studies. As a tripod, I prefer the Manfrotto Element or 3 Legged Thing / Punks Corey model…

Shootings – Sunrise
We start our work at Işıklı Lake at sunrise, which is one of the times when the light is most effective. Of course, in order to shoot at these hours, we need to be at the location where we will shoot about 30 minutes before sunrise. We need time for tasks such as determining the locations where we will shoot and making our shooting preparations. Therefore, we need to take our place before the sun rises. The right decisions to make are to choose a boat as the center of attention in the wide-angle shot for the composition in which we will include clouds to reflect a quiet environment in our photograph, to prevent the boat and the background from overlapping by changing the viewing height, and to ensure that everything is clear by using a low aperture.

Silhouette photos of fishermen at sunrise will be among the important subjects to be taken. In back-light photographs, measuring the light from the bright place and applying minus (-) exposure will completely lose the details in the dark areas. Friends who want to obtain warmer colors will be able to obtain more vibrant colors by selecting White Balance as "cloudy" for JPEG files.

Of course, trying alternative frames with different lenses is important in these photographs, as in all subjects. For this reason, it is important to approach the main subject with a telephoto lens or create compositions by including other surrounding elements in the frame with a wide angle.

Considering creating different photographs from the shots taken by other photographers is also an important point of these studies. Therefore, it is necessary to consider different techniques. Since using a telephoto lens and open aperture will limit the depth of field, focusing on a close point and blurring the fisherman in the background will provide a different photo.

When the sun rises, we will be able to work on photographs that include not only silhouettes but also all the surrounding elements. In such a case, since we are responsible for all the elements in the frame, we will need to pay attention to every point in our composition while working from the viewfinder or screen. Again, we must create alternative photographs with different lenses, but no matter which lens we use or what kind of frame we create, we must be careful to create clear and simple compositions by paying attention not only to the main subject but also to all the surrounding details..

As the first light of the morning passes, the fishermen who have finished their work on the lake will begin to pull their boats to the shore. In the meantime, our photography work will continue. Wide angle lenses will help us more in these shots that we will take by getting closer to the subject. Just as we need to control our distance, we will also need to pay attention to the viewing height and make sure that the elements do not interfere with each other. Of course, when fishermen enter the frame, considering the classical composition criteria and paying attention to headings such as the golden ratio and golden lines will ensure cleaner compositions.

Shootings – Trees Unfortunately, the water of Işıklı Lake is decreasing like many of our other lakes. From time to time, with increased rainfall, trees close to the shore may be submerged in water, even if it is shallow. In such a situation, visually powerful frames can emerge for us photographers. It is possible to achieve effective results, especially with the reflections of trees. But of course, for a good photograph, the light must be strong enough. From time to time, we photographers can get demoralized when the light is not good. However, our job is to produce photographs, not excuses. In such cases, we must continue our work and, if necessary, evaluate our photographs with post-production. A good solution would be to use some of the shots we will take here later in black and white conversion.

Personally, I like to try and use some of the features that OM System provides us with on many photographs. One of the ones I use the most is ART mode, which works for JPEG files. I use the DRAMATIC TONE filter in this menu with color and black and white alternatives. I prefer the Dramatic Tone filter in color when the light is good and colors can be recorded. I can say that it works very well for a different visual.

Photographing trees in backlight and obtaining silhouette images can produce impressive results. For this purpose, it would be a better technical choice to measure light from a bright place, from the sky, and to work with minus (-) exposure. In order to prevent the sun from exploding like a white ball if it enters the frame, the best technical choice would be to work with the smallest aperture value. In this way, the sun will shine like a star. In silhouette photographs where the sun is not in the frame, it will be important to find the angle where the elements do not overlap by paying attention to the viewing direction and height.

Shootings – Long Exposure OM System OM1 and OM5 models have a built-in ND filter. However, in some cases, the 4 or 6 stop long exposure provided by these models may not be sufficient. In such cases, I prefer ND (Neutral Density) filters, which refract the light by 10 stops. Of course, working with a tripod gives you the chance to shoot without the camera moving at all. On OM System cameras, it is possible to take these long exposure shots by watching the development of the photo, thanks to the Live Time and Live Bulb options. In this way, there is no need to worry about encountering a negative surprise in the photo.

Shootings – Reflection
Of course, when the light starts to soften again in the evening, we will have the chance to take many reflection photos on the lake shore on a windless day. It is important to find a boat in a color that will contrast with the surrounding elements and to create a composition that will make that boat the main subject with its reflection. To do this, using different lenses and different apertures would be the right choices. In this way, we will have the opportunity to choose how much of the background will be in the frame and how sharp it will be.

Shootings – Sunset
Işıklı Lake is probably one of the spots where we can take the most beautiful sunset and silhouette photos in Turkey. That's why we are especially preparing and waiting during this time period. From time to time, we also ask for support from our fishermen friends on the lake. Our friends who act as models for us help us take effective photos by taking a few laps around the lake.

In such photographs, the right decisions would be to create a simple composition, be careful not to overlap the elements, measure the light from the bright area, use minus (-) exposure, and choose White Balance as "cloudy" for Jpeg files for warm colors. Since elements that clash with the reflection in the background will not produce strong results, changing the viewing height and perspective will help create more accurate frames. Of course, deciding on the moment of shooting is one of the important points for a more dynamic photograph.

For sunset photos to be impressive, it is important to pay attention to 2 points. The first of these is to use a telephoto lens with a focus of 200 mm or longer. In this way, the background will move closer to the front, and the sun will appear closer and larger than it is due to the perspective stacking effect. The second point is the measurement of light from the sky. If we measure the light from the sun, we can only see the sun and record everywhere else as dark. If we measure the light from a dark area, this time we will only see the details of that area, causing everything else to be very light. Measuring the light from the sky will ensure that the area is recorded accurately and that the sun and dark areas will appear in the correct tones.

Our shooting doesn't end when the sun disappears from the sky. The sun continues to be red for a while after it sets. We can continue shooting during this period. However, since the light is very low, it would be a better choice to take shots with a tripod. Using a wide angle lens and giving more space to the sky in the frame would also be the right decisions.

Shots – Star Trails
Even though the Pole Star is not on the lake in Işıklı Lake, we can do star exposure studies. Several different techniques can be used in star shooting. Personally, I prefer the LiveComp feature found on OM System cameras, so I can shoot with incredible ease.

The Comp feature stands for Mixed Shooting. Live means that you can see the development of the photo on the screen while this process is being carried out. Just like you could see the formation of the photo during the card bath in the dark room in the past, you can also watch the formation of the photo during this process. Naturally, you can end the shooting whenever you want, when you believe that the photo has been created sufficiently.

When making star exposures with LiveComp on OM System cameras, I select ISO 640 and aperture 4. I also choose the composite shooting time as 50 or 60 seconds. In this technique, the camera records everything with the first exposure at the time you choose. Then, it records the stars, whose location has changed, as dots again, within the time interval you choose, the environment remains constant and its light does not change. You can record star lines on the machine, which performs this process 60-72 times for 60 minutes. We also have the chance to take a different photo by illuminating a boat on the shore with a flashlight. Of course, working with the widest angle lens also allows recording more sky and stars.

Işıklı Lake is very suitable for photography, it is almost a lake created for photography. It is possible to shoot at different locations in different seasons. Of course, every photography volunteer will be able to do many different photographic works depending on their photography understanding and equipment. I tried to explain the most basic points and photos with examples. While making the promise; Of course, photography is a field that is pursued individually. Still, photography journeys with a group or a consultant can provide the opportunity to work efficiently and help you get quick results in solving the problems you encounter. OM System is a structure created for this purpose on roads.

Cenk GENÇDİŞ is an experienced professional photographer with more than 30 years of experience in this field. His captivating photographs and illuminating articles have been published in numerous prestigious magazines. With a global reach, the artist has exhibited his work in various parts of Turkey and the world, given engaging presentations and interviews, and earned himself many prestigious awards in photography competitions.

Cenk has been transferring his extensive knowledge through photography lessons since 1995 and positively affecting the lives of thousands of prospective photographers. A sought-after photography instructor and consultant, he has collaborated with more than 50 institutions and organizations, sharing his expertise and guiding individuals on their photographic journeys. With his keen perspective and expert advice, he organizes fascinating photography tours to more than 20 countries, offering enthusiasts unique opportunities to hone their skills and explore the world through their own lens.

As a testament to his extraordinary talent and dedication to the art of photography, Cenk GENÇDİŞ proudly serves as the OM System/Olympus International Brand Ambassador.

- OM System OM-1
- M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO
- OM System OM-5 Body
- M.Zuiko 8-25mm PRO

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