The other day this image popped into my FB stream as a memory from 2012. I cringed when I first saw the post. It was from a very early time in my journey as a photographer. I was about a month away from purchasing my first DSLR (Nikon 5100) and was at the end of my time with the Sony DSC-H20 point & shoot camera. I had been learning about photography for about nine months and was only beginning to understand all the tools at my disposal. I had discovered an interest in monochrome images and was also experimenting with different toning processes, this obviously was my attempt at Sepia toning.
I do like the image. It definitely is something I would capture today. I know though that my processing would not be so heavy-handed. I thought it would be good to re-process this one with the knowledge and (hopefully) skill I have today.
As much as I read about “filling the frame”, sometimes an image needs breathing room. I like the lines of the tracks in the original but I feel this version is not conveying the mood very well. I didn’t modify the original crop scale (4×5) but I did bring more of the foreground into the image. This “pushed” the vanishing point farther back into the image and enhanced the mood I was originally going for as evidenced by the title, Into the Unknown.
I decided to keep the sepia toning but turned it down a little. The subtle approach works best here, in my opinion. In the original the amount of toning overwhelmed the white of the snow and actually distracts from the image. I also adjusted the tonal range within the image. I allowed the variations within the trees to stand out better which increases the feeling of depth for this image.
I like the revision, you’ll have to let me know your thoughts…