Sometimes as photographers we reach a point where we think “am I doing this right, should I be changing something, maybe I’m just standing still?”
Over the past weeks I have struggled to find a suitable image for the weekly challenge and then once I have found it, I wonder if it’s good enough. Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of the photographs I take. I know there are some really great ones, but sometimes you just have doubts.
I have long been an exponent of the “black art” of High Dynamic Range Imaging or HDR as it’s commonly known. For me it’s a technique I use to ensure I capture the full range of light and shadow in any given photograph. HDR as a technique, and it is a technique, not a look has many variances. Some users of the technique like to go for the more surreal look others like me prefer to make the photograph look as natural as possible. Recently though I have been experimenting with the more surreal look. Not too extreme but enough to make the photograph not look as natural as it could be. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.
The sky in this photograph is pretty natural looking but the rest of it is either over-saturated (look at the yellow stone) or under-saturated (look at the wood). It just doesn’t look right.
Katie Hoff, an American Olympic swimmer once said;
When I look back, I’m definitely proud of what I did. It kind of allows me to move forward and reset my goals.
That’s sort of how I feel at the moment. Looking back at the photographs I have produced before, and since I started blogging, has made me realise that the style I have now is not what I want it to be. I much prefer my old style of keeping things looking natural. So in my own way I am moving forward but going back to the past. Or as Dr. Who said;
Gosh that takes me back… or is it forward? That’s the trouble with time travel, you never can tell
Now I can’t do time travel but I can go back and that’s what I’m going to do. In future if I put together an HDR photograph it will be in my old style of a more natural looking photograph. Gone is the surreal look and the under/over saturated colours. Back in is natural colours and correct values of light and shade. Or at least correct as I choose to interpret them.
Boring isn’t it? For me, the image is lacking something and I don’t know what it is.
Now on the other hand, the slightly surreal HDR image, in my eyes, looks better.
This is where you come in. Which of the two images of the church do you prefer? Maybe you don’t like either of them? Tell me why? Your answers could help shape the direction of my photography and the post processing that I do as I move forward into the future.