I think this one definitely falls in the Fine Art category and would look great on a wall.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted thanks to a busy time and I was determined to have something original this time, but with nothing shot for the purpose. So, yesterday afternoon, on a bright cold day, I set out with no specific idea in mind to see what I could find that might be worth a blog story.
I had been told of a walk that led to some good clear vistas and I had a rough idea of maybe shooting a landscape of some sort, As I walked along there was nothing on the way suggesting itself to me and even worse, when I arrived at the point of view I was expecting, there really wasn’t anything special in it to suggest a decent photograph. The good weather and clear skies led to a fairly uninspiring outlook and I thought there was nothing there that would be at all different or worth writing about. I had reached the point of thinking I’d be scraping through the archive again and looking for something technical to write about, but thinking at least I’d had a good walk in the fresh air and felt all the better for that.
As I made my way back I detoured slightly onto a familiar route that I know from dog walks. This led me by a wee burn (“small brook”, if you prefer) where at the water’s edge there were patches of crystallized ice which grabbed my attention and I thought it was well worth capturing a few images. I wanted shots that were taken looking directly down on the ice so that I could make the most of the patterns. Below the ice and showing interesting colouration were some fallen leaves still in the water from autumn. I had wanted to control the depth of field and I also wanted to ensure that I had a fast enough shutter speed to capture shots clearly as I need to do this hand held. I was shooting at 55mm and opted for an aperture of f8 (round about the lens’ sweet spot) and a shutter speed of 1/125 sec. To get a decent exposure I set ISO to automatic and set about capturing some images.
As I shot the photos I was increasingly drawn to the patterning and colours which got me thinking in terms of a stylised image as the final product. Once I had the images into Lightroom I went through set giving them number gradings to help me narrow down to a preferred image to work on. I won’t trouble you with the details as it’s best with this kind of creative approach to just experiment and see if you can create what you have emerging in your mind. In broad terms getting to this final image required the following adjustments all done in Lightroom:
- lens corrections
- tone curve
- colour channel adjustments (mostly hue – one saturation adjustment)
- split toning
- sharpening (with masking)
That’s quite a lot of adjustments and as you go these accumulate so I think it’s always worth checking step by step and being prepared to go back and forth making fine tuning adjustments until you get what the result you are happy with.
So, a day that looked at one point looked like it would be little more than a good walk in the fresh air, returned an image I’m really pleased with. This is available to buy as a print and also as a ready to hang wall product. You can buy it securely from my website here.
(I should point out that the printed version doesn’t contain my logo or copyright watermarking)