On a walk today to Highcliffe Castle – I visited this castle and had printed out this image which I took in May 2012 – and without looking at this photo before had I wanted to take some new photos of the location – at a different time of year – and with my hopefully improved photographic skills to see whether or not I have improved.
Back in May I had bright sunshine, harsh shadows and a lovely blue sky with dappled clouds – today it was overcast… grey skies with very little detail, I thought the castle had not changed much but today you can see the cafe area to the right has been extended a great deal, the planting had changed and the lawn was not as nicely trimmed.
Today I captured the castle from a different angle – I was looking at using the trees to create a natural frame for the castle and the paths and hedge as leading lines drawing you to the castle entrance. The unloading car is not something that I would have wished to include but it gives a sense of scale and the table to the left lack interest. The autumn leaves on the lawn also create a different feel to the image, but the soft lighting helps bring out all the details on the brick work.
I changed around looking for a different view point, and it was lovely to see the boxed hedge garden still in place and I used this to create detail on to the foreground. You loose the idea of how big the castle is, but the person indicates a sense of scale still and the black and white editing adds a timeless feel to the image.
The flowers in the hedge were a vibrant red, so I changed angles and decided to make those the focus of my image, and using the line between the plants to draw you into the picture and round the corner to the trees beyond. This is one exposure but I edited it twice and then merged the two new images into one – first I edited in to get some of the detail from the sky, reducing the exposure, the highlights etc to bring some detail into the sky, and the second time to lighted the shadows on the building as that way I can extract the largest dynamic range from the image.
I am now curious – which image do you like best? The one from 2012 or the one from today … today it was a composed shot rather than a lucky shot and the weather is very different …. another great reason why sharing settings does not help you create the image that someone else took! Please let me know in the comments below…..