31 Jul 2013

Sometimes ideas just don't work. Or: good landscape photo starts with a good landscape

Every now and then I give a small photo assignments to myself, just to practice the technique or explore new areas of photography. One of my latest "challenges" was to photograph a lonely tree that would be good enough to be added to my portfolio. Why such theme? Well, it is a nice and can be used in practice, for instance to create a postcard.
Since I didn't have much time to do extensive preparations, I took a walk in my neighbourhood to find a candidate scene. It looked good enough to give it a try.
Few days later I organized a small session. The general scenery looked like on the photo below:
There were at least few problems with this photo: first of all the tree wasn't 'lonely'. Second, there is a lot of unnecessary noise in the background (like power lines). To make it more interesting I've first tried to incorporate more sky, making it more dramatic by using a polarizing filter.
Was it better? Not really. Now I have even less interesting picture than before. Last try was to go back to the first idea but take the photo from a bit lower angle of view:
Mhmm. Slightly better, but not something that I really wanted.
Then the moment of reflection came: It does not really matter what I would do, the scene I was trying to achieve was not the scene I envisioned: the tree was not 'lonely enough' to compose the picture.
So I packed my gear and went home. 
Disappointing, but one the other hand I took important lesson: good (great) landscape picture starts with the great landscape.