A countrylane in Wiltshire…
I do a lot of cycling and I take a lot of photographs of small country roads like this.
The original colour version looked dull and lifeless, as these types of photos do. It was taken in the middle of the day and the location was hardly dramatic or spectacular.
I have always enjoyed taking these pictures, because I always see a pleasant composition as I trundle around on my bicycle.
But the camera sensor generally gives me a flat lifeless image, like sensors tend to do in situations like this. They have no eye for art or composition.
And that is why I will always be an advocate of post processing. What we see in our minds eye is reality augmented with emotional feelings and imagination, and a sensor cannot reproduce that. Only in post processing can you really create the composition that you saw in your minds eye at the moment of capture. Even if that vision is a literal one, the sensor and in-camera processing can only create a generic feel to an image.
The post processing here is a mixture of layer masks to locally change brightness and contrast, and then converted to black and white using Nik Silver Efex, applying a strong vignette, before ‘dabbing’ away some of the darkness using layer masks in Photoshop. It really did only take about 10 minutes start to finish.
But the photo itself was spontaneous and very unplanned, as most of my photos are. All the elements of the frame slowly came into view as I trundled along on my bike, and I do nothing with my cameras until I get a little twinge of excitement as a composition comes into view….