This was taken at Thawil train station, Zurich, Switzerland. Not the most obvious hotspot for photography, but I was in the area, with a brand new Canon 550D, a head full of newly-discovered mystical words like aperture and exposure, and some time to kill.
I have to admit here that I’m not generally the kind of photographer who sees an image in her mind, then sets up the world around her to take it. I’ll never be a decent portrait or art photographer, since if you give me a blank canvas I’ll just look blankly at you. Sometimes, and really I mean very occasionally sometimes, something does pop to mind, and this is one such example. I had a lot of fun taking this, spending absolutely ages playing with depth of field and taking my first baby steps to really understanding what it was all about.
As an aside, does anyone actually use their depth of field button on their camera? I’ve mostly given up; I find the viewfinder too small to really be sure of the effect, and it’s just much easier to take the photo and view it on screen. I realise this would be different in a film world though!
Anyway, another thing this photo started to teach me was to get to grips with post-processing. After being happy with it in-camera, I got the photo home and somehow it still just didn’t have the feeling I wanted to convey. Too many clashing colours, too busy. With a big sigh of regret I was ready to give up on the image. However, I do own (and love) Lightroom, and my mouse hovered over a preset and the little preview image changed and I went woah. This might actually be salvageable.
I used to say I didn’t like obvious post-processing, an opinion generated by my blank canvas phobic brain, I suspect. This image and many subsequentially have taught me that some images cry out for it. I don’t take photos with obvious post-processing in mind, aside from some monochrome/sepia, but those little presets can be really inspiring and with adjustments have transformed some of my images from what they looked like in real life to how they seemed when I looked at them through the camera. As a favourite quote of mine puts it, “I can’t swear is this exactly how it happened, but this is how it felt”1.
1 If you can identify that quote without the help of google, then we can be shame buddies.