Yesterday I was out in the Eifel which is about an hours ride form here, hiking for some five hours with Christina, my sister and my nephew (who are the persons you see in this image). And of course Leah, the dog.
For most of the time I was miserable. You may think because it was colder than I thought and because I am so out of shape that I didn’t want to celebrate with my smart watch when I hit the 30.000 steps mark. But what really annoyed me was the cloudless blue sky. I can photograph clouds forever and I really like a moody sky. But just nothing but blue? Boring.
Often when the sky is featureless on those cloudless days or when it is just a two-dimensional grey, you are told to exclude the sky from your composition. Mostly I took that advice, but when I saw that group of trees, there was something about it that made me stop. The idea was to wait until the others went over the top of the hill out of sight and then take the photograph. I did that, but before they vanished, I felt I had to capture the moment when they were on the top of the hill. And right I was, it was the frame which spoke to me most. Even though I usually avoid including people in my images.
So once I got home, imported the images to Lightroom, I still liked the composition, but didn’t really know what to do with it. As dropping in some clouds in Photoshop is no option for me I had to find another way.
Good thing I had found one when editing “The Way Home” as described here. I used the Full Spectrum preset as a starting poiint and added a red filter to darken the sky even more. There was a gradation in the color image already making it look like maybe the sun was setting behind the hill. Of course there were still things to do with the image, but the general idea was to darken down the sky so much that it didn’t even matter there was nothing in the sky. In “The Way Home” there at least was something in the sky and fog on the ground, but the concept worked on this one as well.
Also in both images it changes the mood and the feel completely. Which of course also has an impact on the story I will write for this picture as it already had an impact on the title, which only popped up after the image had changed so dramatically. And I am really glad “The Way Home” turned out to be more than just a one-time coincidence.