The Picture I Almost Took

Lone Pine (iPhone 5s, Basic adjustments in Lightroom, Color Efex Pro, Topaz Simplify oil painting filter and Silver Efex Pro black and white conversion added as layers in Photoshop.)
I missed a shot and then again I didn’t. And now I have the choice to be frustrated with what I don’t have or be grateful for what I have.
In October 2017 I visited Mallorca with my fiancee Christina and since we had rented a car we could go to all kinds of places like the house of British poet and critic Robert Graves, a visit I wrote about here.
Anyways the day before we left the island, we went to the monastery of La Victoria on the Alcudia peninsula. At the western end of the parking lot, some steps led up to a small hilltop with some pine trees looking out over the Baja Pollenca.
Walking up I saw a lone pine standing at the top framed by some trees on the left and right lower on the hill. Everything was leading up to that one tree and some really nice clouds took care of the background.
Christina was walking in front of me and when she saw the view, she counted down to the exact moment when I lifted my camera. She knows my images and sees what I see. She knew I would be drawn to this image.
So I took this iPhone image and started taking more with the Nikon. With the 35mm prime lens, I moved back and forth, left and right to get different angles. All good and well.
But I made a major mistake — I didn’t take the frame I had previously done with the phone camera. The one that leads the eye straight to that lone pine. Missed it. Didn’t do it. Don’t know why. But I was sure I had it.
When I came back home, I imported all files to Lightroom, made a cup of tea and got ready to work on the image. I had fiddled around with Snapseed on the phone and already had a look in mind.
iPhone image edited using Snapseed on the phone.
A strong vignette so the focus would be on the single tree even more. Some more structure for the cloud background, but not so much that it would take away from the main subject. And maybe add some oil painting filter to the leaves and grass using Topaz Simplify. I had it all worked out and then … it wasn’t there. Just wasn’t there.
iPhone image with oil painting filter painted in on leaves and grass using a layer mask in Photoshop.
I couldn’t believe it. How on earth could I have missed that? First I was so disappointed I just wanted to shut down the computer and go do something else. But then I thought I still have something. I can edit the iPhone image. I can even print that in about 11 x 8 inches and it will look good. And I can go back next year and do it again. Maybe even better.
So I worked on the image and came up with something I liked and had learned something along the way. So I messed up. I could have just got all irritated about it. Or I could choose to adapt and work with what I have. I have a set of lower resolution images taken with the phone or smaller cameras for images just like this one (i call it “The Tiny Collection”). So I added it to that. And the more I look at it, the happier I am with it.
The circumstances may be the same, it is just our choice, our way of looking at something that makes us feel miserable or good about it. And the best thing about it is that it doesn’t just apply to missed photographic opportunities. I’ll try and remember that the next time something goes wrong.

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