The Making of “The Way Home”

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The original shot out of camera, taken at 9:20 in the morning

A few days ago I woke up to the sun rising and still some considerable ground fog over the field. I grabbed my camera, the dogs and my wife and we set out for a walk.

Only about half a mile form our house I found this frame. It had foreground, background, leading lines, all the goodies. Not that I thought consciously about any of those at the time, but obviously it’s all there. The light from the rising sun coming from the right spreading over the grass on both sides of the road, the fog between the trees in the distance, I knew this was going to be good.

Although I didn’t have the 35mm prime with me I would have preferred for this, the 18-70 did nicely. I took a couple more shots just to make sure I got what I wanted and continued on for some more promising fog images.

Later in Lightroom I decided to work on this one and did all the basic adjustments in Lightroom and went on to NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 for the black and white conversion and further adjustment. And that’s when my personal perception of reality kicked in.

Something in the mist, the light scross the grass and the shadows under the trees must have triggered something in me and the image got darker and gloomier with every setting I changed.

I have been suffering from anxiety disorder, panic attacks and depression for the better part of my life, so my perception of any given scene will be very different form what you see or feel. I feel more or less constantly threatened and I have to deal with fear pretty much every day.

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The final image

So the image got very dark, the fog in the distance should barely show the trees standing there so including the fact that the road slighty bends to the right behind the trees on the right so we can’t see where it is actually going, we are following a road we have no idea of where it is leading and it doesn’t seem to be very encouraging to move on.

I don’t see the image is absolutely gloomy. At least we are on a path, probably moving somewhere, wherever that might be. Looking at the title, we will be going home and I hope home will not be a misty, dark place. That’s what the past has been often enough. But looking at what is right in front of us, that’s not too bad. It has some light we’re not sure of where it’s coming from, there is no source. But the road seems reliable, we can see for some distance. The clear view and the crisp details of the close surroundings, the now, will be moving along with us as we move further down the road. Somewhere in here is hope in all this darkness.

This image also is a good example for my idea of what needs to be in good images: reality and truth. My reality as I perceive it is of course heavily influenced by my experiences of fear and anxiety, but also the hope that keeps me moving along. This perception leads me to my personal truth in my images. This might be the underlying sadness, but also the delicate but never absent feeling of hope. If I can make this truth felt, I have done well. If you can see this truth in my images and can connect to that, you will love them and will never be tired of looking at them.

2 thoughts on “The Making of “The Way Home””

  1. The problem with the term “truth” is that people usually a certain degree of factual authenticity with it. And if you compare both images, you’ll have to admit that this foundation on facts got lost at least to some degree in your interpretation. It could even be argued that a photograph can never completely convey the truth because it is always subject to the photographer’s interpretation of the scene, e.g. in the process of composition and framing.
    That’s why I think the term “honesty” is more appropriate – but even this term can be problematic because if an honest interpretation of a scene or moment exists, then there must also be a dishonest one – and what would that look like?! 🤔
    Just my 2 ct….

    Like

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