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.

One thought on “What a difference a year makes

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s