|Bosque Sunset, Bosque del Apache NWR, NM, Nov. 2011|
I saw right away that this photo in its raw form was kind of flat; the composition was okay, the detail was pretty good but not good enough to zoom in (have I mentioned that I'm dying for a fast telephoto lens? Next year, perhaps), and the color was good but not striking enough to carry the image. So I applied Photoshop's black-and-white filter, which was okay but not fabulous (I do much prefer color to B/W -- my own visual bias), and then slowly ramped the color back up and added sepia and selenium toning (using Topaz Labs' new B&W Effects, which is a fun and fabulous Photoshop add-in) to "antique" the image. This seemed to bring out the snow geese, which helped me realize that I didn't really have one stand-out focal element in this image -- oh, pretty birds! oh, pretty trees! oh, cool lines! -- and that perhaps this is what I struggle with most in landscapes.
So, food for thought. Please feel free to offer whatever feedback you have on this image; it's definitely a work in progress. I'm really enjoying the process of experimenting and letting go of the idea that I have to create a "perfect" image, and I'm open to suggestions and inspiration.