Just one guy’s opinion, but I think the image in this post, “Cattails on the Prairie,” looks quite different than the image in my previous post, “Cottonwood Copse.” For example, last post’s image is higher in key with less contrast overall, while this image is overall darker in key with much stronger contrasts. The prior image is pretty simple in composition, maybe even bordering on minimalism, while this image has a few more elements to it. Perhaps most importantly, I get a much different feeling from the two images – the prior image feels to me sort of cold and wintery, while this image feels much more warm and summery.
Thing is, these two images were taken about 30 minutes and 30 yards apart. This post’s image was seen about 30 yards up the road from last post’s image. The cottonwoods in the previous image are part of the line of cottonwoods in this image, just seen from a different angle. If you look closely, you might even see a fence in these two images – it’s the same fence in both.
There’s a couple of things I take away from this. First, as a photographer you really do have a lot of latitude to interpret your photographs in whatever way you want to, and editing the image in post processing (whether in a wet darkroom or on a computer) is a decisive part of the artistic process. Never think your images have to look just how they came out of the camera. Have a vision for them, and make your vision happen.
Second, it’s amazing just how much creativity you can add to your photography with some simple fieldwork. Don’t stand around in one spot – move around, look at what you can see in all directions, wait a few minutes and see how the clouds move, how the light changes. Be an active part of your photography process. When I do these things, I often find there’s more photographic possibilities for a given subject than I originally thought.