“Faking” it

“Faking” it

The light, the leaf and all the elements of the image above are real. What is fake is that none of it was as seen here when I first came across it. I made decisions that took these elements and arranged for them to look this way and those decisions extended to changing the light.

Let me explain. Last weekend I was out walking and I saw this bridge railing. The light was pre-dawn and a little overcast, so there was no definition. I liked the curve and I thought about what I could do to bring that out.


I made two decisions straight away. I created some contrast by using an off-camera flash coming from the right hand side and I simplified the composition by going closer and losing the top and bottom rails. I used a wide aperture to isolate a section. It looked better to me but I felt it needed more.


The next decisions resulted in the final series of images. I saw the leaf on the ground nearby and it had the right colour contrast against the steel. There was also the contrast of organic against industrial textures. I needed somewhere to place the leaf  so the bottom rail came back into frame. I also shifted the flash to the left hand side to avoid shadows falling across the rail. It made more dramatic shadows as well.



Now if there is a point to this post it’s that you should always give yourself permission to change what is in front of you when it suits. It is no worse than adding a filter or making changes in post.  Another point is to always ask yourself what you can add or take away.


2 thoughts on ““Faking” it

  1. It’s interesting and informative to read anthers thought process. I’m new to photography, so it’s especially helpful. –

    Nice photos, too. 🙂

    • Too often photographers choose to write about using gadgets or lenses as if these things will solve what is fundamentally a creative challenge by themselves. Your job is to apply what you know, using only what you have, to try and get what you want from the subject in front of you.

      Thinking and visualising is key and comes first. Not gear.

      Thanks for stopping by and glad I could help!


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