Morning Sun, High Forest, Kinihira, Rwanda

Morning light in the highland around Kinihira. The photographer describes this area as perhaps the most beautiful place he has ever been on Earth. During the horrors of the 1994 genocide. Lieutenant-General Roméo Antonius Dallaire, the Canadian Force Commander of UNAMIR (the ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping force for Rwanda between 1993 and 1994) came here for respite from the pressures and horrors of his mission. Once can still appreciate the sense of space, peace and beauty from the lodge high on this mountain top.

The shot is a straightforward ‘high key’ image, achieved my manipulating the exposure to burn out detail in the highlights. Even the exposure systems of sophisticated digital SLRs often struggle to meter effectively when shooting directly into the light source (here the morning sun diffused through mist). In my experience, where there is time it is better to select ‘Manual’ mode and make a series of bracketed exposures ranging from -3 to +3, to get just the effect you are looking for. If you have a tripod and a still subject, there is also the possibility of compositing the final shot from two or more differently exposed images (the so called HDR technique, try not to overdo it, the internet is awash with ‘Lord of the Rings’ style landscape images of dubious artistic merit).