The Gate – processing a digital painting?

Although I have not had much time since I returned from walking the South Downs Way, I have at least made a start on editing and processing some of the catalogue.

Whenever I take a large number of shots, from the moment I press the shutter there are some which stick in my mind. Perhaps instinctively I know that these shots might have the right basic ingredients to make a potentially pleasing image.

One such shot was taken early in the morning as we left the village of Amberley and started the uphill climb to Amberley Mount. The sun had not long risen and there was still some early morning mist in the air. We came across a gate in amongst some trees and hedgerow. The light being cast on the scene was just glorious. I only took the one exposure and here is the result.

The Gate
The Gate –
on the South Downs Way

I originally started processing the image in Photoshop CS5 a few days ago and made a number of fine adjustments on a daily basis until I felt completely happy with the result. More often than not I will process a photo in one sitting, but on this occasion I took more time and tried to remain patient. This was simply because each time I revisited the image, either later in the day or the following morning, I would look at the picture and see something new, which I thought could be fine tuned to enhance the overall appearance.

This staged approach is of course no different to an artist with a paintbrush in his hand. A painting will often take a number of sessions to finish and as the paint dries so the picture changes. I don’t think the method of processing a photograph should be any different. I accept that some images can be completed in no time at all, but there are others, and this is a good example, when more time and patience brings its reward. You do of course have to decide when to click ‘save’ for the last time and that decision is never an easy one. For now the ‘The Gate’ is finished and I can now enjoy ‘fine tuning’ the next image in this series on the South Downs Way.

There is not a great deal more to say, other than how fortunate I was to be in the right place at the right time to capture this shot. The shaft of light coming from the other side of the gate was a very beautiful sight, as it lit up the path and the foliage of the surrounding trees and hedgerow.

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