Anyone who knows me, or has followed my blog or Facebook posts know that I have a particular fondness for the seawalls. Although I haven’t been shooting much in the last few years, I do manage to get in one or two seawall visits and a few images. Many people don’t realise that the artistic process is not simple and certainly not infallible, over the years, I’ve accumulated many images, and I can often go back through images I’ve taken and overlooked to find a gem or two.
These two images were never overlooked, but I simply didn’t quite get the feel I wanted at the time, I suspect my mindset was different and I didn’t see what was right in front of my eyes. I’ve often looked at images I’ve taken and know that I have “something”, but can’t seem to process is the way my mind or my inner eye was seeing it, so its often a limitation of the mind, or the knowledge to get the image from the raw image into what it was that I was intending to capture and to share.
One of the things I’ve learned over time is not to force my way to achieve something “artistic”, it either comes or it doesn’t. What I can do, and what I often do, is to experiment, to play with the software, try various settings and adjust the sliders without thinking too much about it, just adjust on a visual level rather than intellectually anticipate a particular outcome. What this does if expose my mind to more of what the software is capable of, and also to see changes in the tonality and look of the image that I would not have otherwise seen with my usual predetermined mindset.
This does not necessarily mean that at the end of experimenting that I get a pleasing image, often that’s not that case, and I put the image aside and move on, but I would have learnt a thing or two, which I can apply to other images. It is also just as likely that I would return to that image at a later date, with some more clarity, possibly because I’ve since learnt something new, or simply gotten a different outlook on the image and what it could be.
What I have described is one of my approaches to this “art”, and there are many photographers out there who don’t approach it as art but as a profession. The beauty of Photography is that each of us can approach it differently, and come out of it at the end with unique images, because we are all unique, and what works for me may not work for others, and vice versa. Don’t be afraid to experiment, it is how we learn.