Return To Blog 27 August 2015

Jackie Ranken: What it takes...



NZIPP - Iris Awards
Landscape Photographer of the year 2015

 Jackie Ranken - Canon Master

 What does it take to win this category four years in a row? It requires motivation to get out of bed early, to be out late and to shoot in all sorts of weather conditions. Then the commitment to make the most of any situation you find yourself in and finally the passion to believe in yourself to select the images that have a certain pertinacious quality and print them

Tibetan Sand Dune
5D Mark III, EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 145mm
f/8, 1/500 sec 200 ISO.

“When you come across a subject, stop the car and respond straight away because the light will inevitably move in this case the sand will too.”


Sand dunes are a wonderful subject to photograph because they have beautiful lines, textures and shadings.  The wind constantly reshapes and sweeps clean their contours. The trick is shoot in light that enhances these lines and to find a composition without distractions. (Generally this means shooting when the sun is low in the sky). In this image I have cropped off the sky so that the background mountains are less distracting and eye is captivated by the subject.

Room with a landscape View
5D Mark III, Canon EOS 5D Mk III. TS-E 24mm 3.5L II
f/8, 1/60 sec 200 ISO.


I have photographed this hut in the landscape many times. On this occasion we had access to it’s interior. I was shooting with a neutral picture style and managing the bright exterior light and the comparatively dark interior light by using the HDR application within the 5DMKIII. Making three exposures using -3, 0 and + 3.

I felt OK about entering this into the Landscape Category because I like to challenge the judges to think of landscapes in different ways . This was printed onto Canon’s Fine art -Museum Etching Paper .


Hokkaido larch forest with railway line
5D Mark III, EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 105mm
f/6.4, 1/160 sec 500 ISO.


The scene shows the historic railway line running through the surrounding larch forest. The variation in textures of the larch tree branches folding through the valley is the subject. In order to capture as much detail as possible I opted to shoot a stitch of three vertical frames. This technique also helps me to zoom into the scene to the most interesting parts. There was no getting away from the power lines at the bottom of frame so I composed the shot to include them in, using the lines to direct the eye back into the frame. 


You can see more of Jackie's photography by heading to her website, here.