11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge

And then there I was

I knew it was going to be beautiful even before I went. A driving tour along the Normandy coast? I was truly looking forward to it. As a bonus, the day we were scheduled to go was a beautiful one. This is the lighthouse in Saint-Valery-en-Caux:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

That’s an unedited, as shot, version of the lighthouse. I feel like everything I saw that day was photography ready. The day included a stop in Etretat, which I have already written about, and several other stops that I suspect will make their way onto the blog in the future.

When I came upon this scene, after “wow” and “how lucky am I?” my next thought was, what would I want from a photograph of this lighthouse?  My answer was to keep the image simple in terms of the story.  So the decision I made was to shoot in such a way that the fisherman was out of the scene but that his gear stayed. The story here: yes, there are people around but also a great expanse of the natural world.

The first edit was a simple one, that is cropping. In this first edit I have used the tone curves to boost the blues and bring down the white tones a bit:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

This first edit I think speaks well to the vibrancy of the day. The photo itself though, is such a delightful treat, that I knew I wanted to try at least two more takes on it. I wanted to do a more vintage edit and a black and white. First my vintage:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

I’ve kept the warm tones and desaturated the blues for this one. One of the things I like about this particular edit is the way the rust on the lighthouse now looks.

The black and white edit was a bit more problematic:

ISO 200 12mm f/16 1/400sec

I ended up with a cream tone instead of true black and white. As much as I think a brilliant, saturated color photo often translates to a nice black and white image, in this case, it ended up not appealing to me. I think what the cream tone allows for is the warmth of the original scene to still be there.

This is a photo that I suspect I will be coming back to. I would like to have another shot at the black and white. I’m also thinking of trying to crop the photo in a different way. Of these, do you have a favorite? is there a way that you would approach editing it in a creative way?  Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge: Treat and Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Wonder.

Picfair version is here.



52 thoughts on “And then there I was

  1. truly fun to pour over and ponder a photo with a few edits. So thanks for that – it is like sampling a nice tasty appetizer with a friend and talking about different flavors.

    and for me – the vintage is my fav here – but I did not pick up that rust until you mentioned it – but it was the sky in that one that leaped out at me – and the patina on the pier and siding.
    My favorite shot, though, is the unedited first one.
    the extra bit of length on the pier was like a pulley tugging me into this historic place


    • Yes, I had been thinking maybe the crop was a bit too much. It crops to the rule of thirds, but maybe, in this case, that rule can be ignored. I have another pending comment that mentions trying a square crop and that sounds interesting as well.
      Thanks as always for your visit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually don’t mind the original photo at all, even with the lighthouse smack bang in the middle. It does get my attention, but since the sky is so blue I also notice the sky. It is a very interesting how the edited version turned out cream toned.


  3. Nice shot.
    I have a love for strong, bold colours, so the first edit is my favourite.
    That said, it is always about how the shot will be used. In the right context the vintage is great.
    Without really playing with the tones, I can’t see a good way to make the pure black and white work.


  4. I prefer the colours in the second version. It would be interesting to try a square shot and lose a little more of the left hand side (using the original, line the left hand side up where the wall comes into the frame at the bottom – I like the way the wall leads the eye).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful photo! I like all the versions, but I lean toward the original because the longer line of the pier edge seems to lead you into the photo and adds depth. Very nice!


  6. I love this shot. The first two versions are my favorites. I like the creaminess of the vintage shot as well as the vibrancy of the first one. I like the idea of cropping the shot more on the left. I think it would lead your eye towards the horizon and then back to the lighthouse.


  7. Great original photo to work with. Interesting how taking out some of the color changed the atmosphere of the whole place. I always enjoy your tinkerings or edits with the photos and allowing us to see all the versions.


  8. Pingback: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 117 – Dutch goes the Photo!

  9. Really enjoy your shots. Hoping to get to Normandy next year we’re doing a football (soccer) vacation in GB and it’d be great to try and get there. Keep up the great pics! 👍🏻


  10. When you revisit this photo, you might reconsider the crop. That walkway is a nice leading line that draws your eye forward, through the photograph. Personally, I would tweak the color a bit and call it a day. My favorite edit is the “vintage” one, which creates a nice mood. Again though, I would not crop the pathway.

    The cool thing about getting a nice crisp, well composed photo in RAW is that you can create multiple versions until you feel satisfied. P.S. Thanks for stopping by my Blog earlier. I am enjoying exploring your pages.


    • Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment. I will reconsider the crop. It is interesting how a seemly simple edit can make a big difference in a photo.
      I fully agree that a lovely RAW version of a photo is something that you can go back to again and again.


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