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Generally when I take a photo I sort of have an idea what I'd like it to look like ultimately when I convert it to black and white. I spend some time looking at whats there and what parts can be brought out or pushed back, this can depend upon conditions but more often than not my mood.
On my recent trip to the yorkshire coast I paid a couple of visits to Whitby. I'd known of the pier for a while and its wonderful curving boardwalk. I'd already visited the day before but it was packed with people so decided to get up before the crack of dawn - I was staying in Hull - to get there before hoards of people arrived. First of all - what a cracking drive it was over Fylingdales and the Yorkshire Wolds - for those into driving at that time in the morning the roads are just ace. So I arrived adrenalin pumping.
I quickly headed towards the shot I'd wanted to take, it was clear so I spent the next hour alone getting the shot I wanted. My mood was still one of excitement and exhilaration as I remember, and I wanted a dramatic shot - I pictured dark clouds zooming across the sky
Fast forward to the following weekend when I get chance to look at the shots and start to process. Looking at the shot it took me back to that drive and the scene before me, and I knew exactly what I wanted. So off into lightroom, photoshop, silver efex pro 2 et al - and it started to take shape. I went back to it a few times through the course of the day, and finally I was happy. (Image 1 below).
As ever I waited to show my wife, the reaction wasn't what I was expecting, hmm, yeah its ok, its just hmm you know. At that point I knew she hated it, perhaps if I tone it down a bit - yeah maybe that would work.
So I start from scratch again with a less dramatic, perhaps lighter and brighter image in mind. When I'd finished reprocessing I presented back to my wife - yep now that's - that's much better.
I know where my wife is coming from with this and I do like the end result, possibly more real and more balanced - more believable even, and well maybe she has a point and the lighter is the one I will post as the finished article. That said its the first one that's closer to how I felt at the time.
So what do you think, is the first just over done? Or have I missed the mark on both. My wife now says the second is a bit wishy washy - I can't win !!!!
Hit 'read more' to see the second image
Whitby Pier - processed based on my mood at the time
Whitby Pier - processed more conservatively.