Dare to Begin
Take pride in how far you have come, and have have faith in how far you will go.
Lately, difficulties have been piling up and I was starting to feel a little down about it. I have bills to pay, a day job that can be stressful, a stomach bug, car problems…house problems… Photography goals that have yet to be obtained. You know. Life stuff.
But, after a few days of sitting at home sick as a dog, watching inspirational videos on the Facebooks and flipping through my meaningful quotes board on Pinterest, I started to feel better. More determined. I don’t want to focus on the negatives, ain’t nobody got time for that.
So, I pulled up my photo editors, and I started working.
I started with the above image – my contribution to this round of our 10 minute fun challenge. (At my buddy Will’s request, the deadline has been extended for a few more people who want to participate, so if you haven’t sent in your entries, by all means, feel free. It’s a fun challenge…meant for you to help you…but I’m happy to market the heck out of your personal growth! :-D)
Anyway…yes…the above image. Taken at a park exactly 7 minutes from my house, 3 minutes into the walking trail through a marsh. I was actually surprised at where I ended up on the trail…there are two fun bridges, one before and one after this section of walkway…and I assumed I’d end up at one of them. I had a great plan for either, but as is the point of the exercise, ended up with neither. Still, I scouted this location a bit, looking for the best angle, the best height, the best camera settings, the best lens and filter to capture both the feel of the day (grey, rainy) and the sense of place I wanted to convey. The editing took some doing, but in the end, I got this image.
I chose light contrast over deep shadows for a few reasons. First, the light that day was filtered through thick cloud cover and the trees above. Second, I wanted the image to be a bit like our path in life. Sometimes jumbled, sometimes confusing, but never so intimidating that we feel we can’t take the next step. Each of us has a path to blaze, we just need to be bold enough to create it.
This image has so much texture, a black and white seemed like the obvious choice. Strangely, it lost a lot without the color. I think the color variances help the eyes know where they are supposed to be in the image. That being said, it was very important to me that the image not be over-saturated, as it was a grey day and too much color would both unrealistic and distracting. I wanted rich but not overwhelming, so I pulled the colors back a bit.
I also warped the light a bit. It was so overcast, there was nothing interesting going on with the light. Nada. I didn’t feel drawn to or invited into the scene. So…I brought up the light a bit from the right side, about 2/3 up the image where the sunlight would have been falling if it weren’t positioned behind the clouds. I tried to keep it subtle…just enough change so the image didn’t feel completely flat. It was a difficult balance to accomplish the first goal (no deep, scary shadows to bring the mood of the shot down) but enough light and dark in the scene to create some…how do they say it in music…? Dynamic. Yeah. I wanted that.
In the end, I got two things out of this 10 minute challenge. I got to practice around with all of my “in the field” skills, but I also took the editing as an opportunity for trial and error. I played with a few new techniques. I listened to your…YES YOU!…feedback on my portfolio regarding the importance of interesting light (its such a no-brainer, yet so easy to overlook sometimes.) I sent versions of the image to my peers and friends and listened to what they had to say. And most importantly, I enjoyed the process. It’s supposed to be fun, after all. ;-)
The rest of the 10 Min Gallery will be posted….as soon as I have the entries. haha
In the meantime, as always, thanks for your support!
Love and Hugs,