Many people say that the final image is everything, that any fault in process, technique or print can be forgiven for a great image. Whilst this may be true in the business of photography or the world of competition, the statement is lacking from an artistic viewpoint. From my viewpoint. Sure I want to sell my work and people to get something out the final result.
Does the camera, technique or the fact you stood in the pouring rain for hours waiting for a 10 second chink in the grey curtain of the sky? Nope! But I know.
Why the comment? Well, I have been wondering about this aspect of photography for a few days, and as so often happens, I got hit by a bit of synchronocity.
I’ve wanted to get back to Saltburn for ages and last night seemed like the night. The tide was out, the weather was breaking and the sun was at the right position in the sky to light up the cliffs. Driving south, the weather changed every few minutes, great, interesting conditions and I was hopeful of a great evenings light. I walked along the beach, past a few interesting viewpoints/compositions to this one. It jumped out at me, sang to me, caressed my nerves with all the forms, textures and that characteristic black sand. Setting up my camera, the sun dipped out of a massive black cloud into clear sky. Expecting an hour of good light between now and sunset I started taking exposures every few minutes as the sky and light changed.
But what was happening to the light?
Despite a clear sky and rain beforehand that should have cleared the air, the sun began to fade as it dropped, like someone had the brightness on a dimmer switch. Invisible haze, air pollution over Wilton? I don’t know.
What I felt was anti-climax. Like pulling the first girl you chat up in a bar. The fun is in the chase, the experience.
I love this photo. The light, the location are sublime, but in my memory it is an empty experience. Soon, only the image will remain. There will be no memory of the event!
Nikon D2X, 12-24mm lens @ 12mm, 1/30s at f/8 ISO100, Lee 0.6ND hard grad filter.
For more information on the making of this and the other photographs on my site please visit the Photography Tips and Articles pages
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