Photographs, said the great Ansel Adams, are make and not taken. The photograph above does not aspire to the great heights that Ansel Adams achieved, and I would blush for shame, if ever the thought of comparison crossed my mind.
However, when I took the photograph, I was returning to my hotel, after spending an hour at the Raneh Falls. One of the tragedies of the visit was the enforcement of a strict closing time at 5 pm. This does take away several hours of marvellous light.
Anyhow, as I was slowly driving back, I stopped the car, and went into the woods. The atmosphere inside was beautiful, and unpolluted. For a city-slicker like myself, this was a Godsend. The overall feeling was one of calm and peace.
This is what I wanted to capture in a series of shots that I took when I was inside the wooded areas. However, time was pressing, the light was failing rapidly, and the wild boar were starting to make their presence felt.
I took my photographs and I left. When I looked at the photograph above, it looked nice, but did not have any point of view that made me very happy.
To give it some depth, I started with a brightness layer, and added in a diagonal ND mask, to give the sense of light coming in from the ‘upper left’ hand side of the photograph.
I burned in some of the excess highlights at the top left in, and also dodged the tree trunk to give it some life.
While it is not an outstanding photograph, I think I managed to save it to some extent, from almost complete oblivion.
What is the image you see in your mind? How can you bring it to life, without excessive manipulation?
As photographers, these are some of the questions we need to answer when making a photograph.