I know there are lots of “purists” out there, and that’s okay. Often my preference is also a natural looking image. But sometimes I feel that an image needs to be played with a little in post-processing before it gets the feeling that I want to convey.
For example, take this image I made in the cypress swamp in Everglades National Park. (Click the image to view a larger version.)
It is a magical place, you feel like you are in a different world here. But the lighting is difficult with the sun shining through the trees contrasting with deep shade and the black water. Composition can be difficult too with the mess of leaves and trees.
I decided to try a black and white conversion to see if removing colour from the scene gives it the mysterious feeling I had at the time.
I actually think that made it more complicated because it is harder to distinguish between the elements in the scene. It’s still not as mysterious as it was in person. It needs to be simplified even further.
I tried a filter in Nik Color Efex Pro which removes much of the colour from the scene, leaving only a hint of sepia, and adds a blur vignette around the edges. This one more closely matches the feeling of the place. You really don’t know what you are getting into by walking in here.
I still want to play around with this image more to see what else I can create with it. For me, this is what is the most fun about digital photography.
What do you think about these three images? I would really like to hear which one you prefer and why.