Look for the light

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Illuminated tree, APS Film

I will be the first to admit I criticise and doubt my ability as a photographer but when going through an old box of photographs I found this shot of a tree bathed in sunlight.

I distinctly remember taking this photograph during one of my many trips across the Tamar to Mount Edgecumbe in Cornwall.

I don’t recall taking a camera all the time but I obviously had the camera on this trip.

If memory serves me correctly I was thinking of purchasing a camera for a trip to St Lucia and was trying out a friends camera.

This tree intrigued me as I loved the way it’s lemony yellow leaves were caught in the sunlight and I loved the way it stood out on the path amongst the gardens.

I may not have known much about aperture, shutter speed or composition but I did have an eye for light and shade.

I thought I would see if I could enhance this photograph in Lightroom as I remember I wanted the tree to really stand out but there are a few distracting elements in the original.

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Before vs After

The edits are not so striking here but I think I achieved what I was after.

  • I cropped the shot to ensure the tree was in the centre of the frame
  • I sharpened the leaves in the tree to make them stand out
  • I have used the dodge and burn tools to darken the background to the right of the tree as well as to darken the pathway

It’s not a dramatic difference but I am happy with the results.

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The final edit

There are still elements which make this a scanned film photograph but I like that charm it gives to the image.

It’s not the most striking image but to me, it proves I already started to look for such shots even realising I had an eye or a passion for photography.

I am sure the final shot could be achieved in camera with a modern digital camera. I do feel I did a pretty good job with the original considering my level of experience and equipment!

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