Home on the Range
Catching the right image is often all about timing - and some luck. If had not forgotten my cell phone at Elmhirst's Resort while setting up my Spark Photo Festival show this morning, I would never have been confronted with this scene and the perfect lighting that made me stop the car and grab my camera.
Being comfortable with your camera, having a good grasp of exposure theory, and knowing your way around post-processing takes that lucky opportunity and gives you a chance to do something special.
As I was editing this image, the tonality and contrast quickly became the dominant visual elements, so I switched to a black and white profile rendering (#6). Combined with a couple local adjustments (which are off.the.hook in functionality), the image truly started to sing.
The image is OK in colour, but I think it really shines as black and white.
Later this weekend, I came back to other versions of this scene and processed two that I'm also quite pleased with.
I really like the vintage look of the vertical shot, even though the solar panel and modern tractor present a temporal dichotomy. A friend of mine recently commented on the similarities between the vintage image and a 1948 painting by Andrew Wyeth, Christina's World. After viewing that painting, I was doubly flattered, and can definitely see the similarities in composition, sans the human subject.
Never underestimate a route you travel regularly. At the right time of day with the right kind of light, it can surprise and reward you… if you are prepared.