On a warm, winter Saturday I took a walk through Stanley Park in Westfield. I had brought along a newer camera that I had been trying to get used to ( a Panasonic FZ1000) -- it was very convenient and easy to use but I wasn't convinced its quality was what I wanted for my photography. I re-visited several areas where I had taken interesting pictures before, including the half-frozen stream just below the Japanese pavillion. There I found a very small still life of a rock frozen in ice with a sprig of pine needle draped across it:
It didn't look like much but I knew I could work on it in Lightoom and Photoshop to eliminate the distracting element and emphasize the design. Back at the computer, I first cropped it square to concentrate on the rock and sprig:
It just wasn't doing it for me. The image wasn't sharp enough and nothing I did could fix it. I posted it to Facebook and after getting a well-aimed comment (thanks, Paul) and much staring and pondering and messing around I decided I had to re-shoot it. I knew there was something there I wanted but this wasn't it.
Sunday morning was different -- cloudy and cold. This time I took a better camera and lens (if you're interested a Nikon D7100 with a 28-105 lens) and returned to the spot. Well, yesterday's warm weather had taken its toll on the ice leaving me with a very different looking rock and no pine needle. CONFESSION: This picture needed a pine needle sprig and since I had shot one yesterday I did not feel it would be photographically dishonest to add one to the rock. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. The new image:
Different, yes, and better. It needed, however, one more step to get it to where I wanted it -- tight cropping to emphasize the "swoop":
A little abstract but it had everything I wanted. I've entitled it "Flyby" and dedicate it to Paul -- no Cokin filter involved here.