The Arcanum: Before and After, Part 1

When my Sony a6000 arrived I was just sure it was the answer to all my photographic challenges.  I had it shipped to my sister's so I could use it just as soon as I arrived back in the states.  And the perfect place to test it out was my old stomping grounds along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I love paths that go on forever so I spent some time on the planing reading a book to make sure I knew just the camera settings I needed to capture the perfect shot.  I can't tell you how proud I was of the resulting photo:

The Mill Flume, Before (June 2014)



I took this photo into my Level 4 critique in The Arcanum. I wasn't entirely crushed by the feedback, but this photo didn't receive the effuse praise I'd been certain it merited.  There were some solid takeaway's from our discussion of this photo.  Namely, that if I could reshoot it I should try to:

  1. Shoot from a lower perspective
  2. Avoid including the sun in the frame
  3. Try to minimize the encroachment of tourism that you find in the perimeter of the image

I took these as my marching orders and reshot the scene while visiting family for the Holidays.  I even got lucky with a light dusting of snow the morning I chose to shoot.  Three tiny huge improvement in the image.  The before was okay, but the after has IMPACT

The Mill Flume, After (December 2014)


This has become one of my signature photos, and it will have a place of pride on my walls. And the best thing about this photo and those three simple tips?  I've been able to use them over and over to increase the impact of my work in a number of situations.