What a difference a year makes

As time passes, experiences change us. The way we see things, the way we approach them and the way we interpret them. In March 2011 I visited Dungeness, a headland on the Kent coast, mostly known for its power station, light house and fishing history. You can see the images I took on the day here and my experience of that day here. In the time that has passed since then I have dramatically changed the way I approach my photography. The way I prepare, take and edit my images. With this in mind I decided to revisit one of my favourite images from that day.

It was my wife that spotted the shot, she’s very good at seeing interesting photographic opportunities. It is a wooden path, laid over the stony beach that leads out to sea. I crouched down low, so the horizon line was above centre just enough so I could still see the sea. I love the way the path lead you into the unknown.

When I got home, I backed up my images and started to go through them. I had always planned to process the images from that day as black and white. Although some worked in colour. Back then, I always approached the processing a little like a bull in a china shop; head on, smashing through them quickly and generally causing a bit of a mess.

Looking back at my original image Path to the Sea, I was no longer happy with it. It was very flat tonally, interesting shadows lost and the sea barely visible beyond the path; all lost in my poor processing of the image. The crop of the image also had the pathway off centre. How could I overlook such an obvious compositional error!

Here is my original image:

So what did I do differently. Well firstly I adjusted my horrendous cropping of the image! For my original edit I did all the processing in Photoshop RAW and saved a jpeg directly from there. Since then I have come to learn the ways of the histogram. I reprocessed the image in the PS RAW again, adjusting the image until I was happy with it in colour; only this time I opened it up in Photoshop to do my black and white conversion using the channel mixer. Finally I sharpened the image, something I had previously left as default in the RAW processor.

And here is my new image:

Path to the sea

I personally feel the whole image is more interesting, doesn’t feel so bleak and is a little more dynamic and I am now drawn in to the scene. Of course this is just my opinion. What is yours? I would love to know.

I am planning to present this image as part of my portfolio for a RPS LPRS distinction on my advisory day in October. So any feedback or criticism on this image or any others on my flickr would be very welcome.

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One thought on “What a difference a year makes

  1. Pingback: Update: What a difference a year makes | An Exploration of Photography

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