The surprises in the process
Updated: Aug 9, 2022
When I exhibited my images last year I included a short explanation of how I created them, both the initial capture and the editing. One guy's feedback was that I shouldn't give away my secrets. I should leave the viewer guessing.
I have given this feedback considerable thought recently. I recognise that I have been fortunate to learn from some very talented photographers, mostly female, who have been very generous in sharing their techniques, approaches and creative insights. And I really value their advice and generosity. I would not have made the progress that I have without their input.
I believe that we learn so much more by being collaborative, by sharing our ideas, valuing each other's unique responses to the world around us. In this spirit I will continue to be open and talk about my work. It is not precious to me. I hope it makes a difference in the way that people see photography. It is more than capturing a record of what is happening.
One evening this week, I took a stroll along the promenade of a local seaside town. it was the end of beautiful August day in Devon. Lots of holidaymakers on the beach, packing up to go, crossing paths with the wild swimmers who plunged into the still warm waters with pleasure. Young children splashing in the waves, or building up the walls of their castles to stop them being washed away by the rising tide. The atmosphere was full of joy .
The sun was gradually going down, the changing light causing sparkles on the waves. I took several shots by the pier. Here is one of the images. My eye was caught by the colour of the setting sun's rays dancing on the incoming waves.
In Lightroom step 1 was to crop out the pillars of the pier. I was searching for an abstract effect, and they were obtrusive and too realistic.
As soon as I had done the crop, I noticed something - a reflection of a tree had emerged. I flipped the image vertically, enhanced the colour and here is the result:
Now I can see two people dancing in the rain under an autumn tree. Definitely not what I set out to capture on my walk by the sea! But what a joy to be able to see a different perspective, to be open to possibilities.
Now I need to apply the same to my everyday life, not just my photography. But that as they say, is another story for another day....