Over the years I’ve become accustomed to the stares that I get as people drive by me while I’m shooting landscapes. Suspicion is probably the first reaction to seeing a grown adult parked by the side of the road when it’s semi dark out. Curiosity is probably next once they realize that I’ve got camera and tripod in hand and not a gun. And as they pass by me they are almost always looking in the direction that the camera is pointed.
You wouldn’t look twice at someone with a camera parked by the Trans Canada highway. For sure they would be taking pictures. Almost everyone would be taking pictures there.
A thought immediately comes to mind. Why be the same as almost everyone else? What makes your view of where we live valuable is not how similar you perceive things but how uniquely you do. It is that uniqueness that sets you apart from the crowd. For better or worse more eyes will see and remember you precisely because you are different. Right now there are a thousand XXXX XXXXX wannabes posting photos on the internet. It’s getting to the point where on some photography forums the majority of photos are starting to look the same. Put all the shooters into a blender and the result is a homogenized view of the world.
I recently sat in on a Google+ video chat. Six unique, remarkable photographers were displaying a couple of photos each and telling a little bit about them. Normally this kind of stuff bores me to tears. I found this interesting. Although they were all basically shooting the same thing, nightscapes, each had a unique vision. That is precisely what I find interesting.
I like the mountains and national parks as much as the next person. What I like even more are the ditches where I get a unique view of the world.
ps. A little about the picture. After a night of heavy fog, every branch and tree was covered with a thick coating of hoar frost. Weather is one of the under looked elements, no pun intended that make your images special. The fog had receded and was on the far horizon making the air hazy, almost like using a soft focus filter.
The colors are not from any special filter but were introduced into the image using a feature of Photoshop, “color matching”. Using it, I have an almost infinite number of colors, shades and tones that are available to me. For instance, I could have made this redder and more yellow or harsher or softer. Like I said, an almost infinite number of ways this could have looked as a final.
This is also and HDR. I used only two of the five exposures that were available to me. Sometimes I use more, sometimes only one exposure if all the detail is in that one frame.
BTW, the post processing took me about ten minutes from start to finish and again this could have looked a thousand different ways. TIP: learn your favorite photo editing program inside out. I’ve been lucky enough to be using Photoshop at work since 1992 I think and I still only know a little of what it can do. The learning curve is steep but well worth the time you put into it.
Below is the RAW, unretouched, only downsized for display as a jpg.