I looked back at Mt. Leidy to see how the light had changed. The white snow that was previously lit up a yellow-orange was now turning to a beautiful magenta tone. I walked a bit closer to the brush that was about twenty feet away from where I was originally set up, spread the tripod legs low, and composed this image. A bit more interesting than the original one seen in #13.
However, something felt off about it, and it wasn’t just the focus (HOW DID I NOT CHECK THIS AGAIN). I tried changing the image to a square-crop, keeping it at the regular 2:3 crop, my beloved 4:5 crop, nothing felt right. Even though the image was grounded well with the foreground of the brush, the peak gently poking through, and the moody sky above, it lacked content.
I felt bored by this image. Even coming back to it months later, I’m still bored. While, yes, it’s a nice image, it’s eye-candy (out-of-focus eye candy, at that), and utilizes some quintessential long-lens landscape techniques, I can’t get behind this image. If you haven’t figured out yet from the past blog posts, I don’t really like eye-candy landscapes that are just eye-candy. They need to do something more than look pretty. They need to (eh?-voke) emotion, they need to tell a story, they need to say something more than how it looks.
But, on a more positive note, immediately after making this image, I heard Alex yell to me “Jeff! Look over there!” This was right as I was about to make my next attempts at this image. I looked over to the direction he was yelling to me about, and I saw this scene. I picked up my tripod and ran over to the brush about fifty yards away. I looked like a maniac. Tripod legs extended in one hand, with the camera still attached, and my camera bag in the other hand. I don’t know for certain, but I think I was just screaming (not too loud, you still need to respect the surroundings) as I was running over.
So even though this image may not have made the cut, it did lead to one of my favorite photographs I’ve ever made. And I consider that a success within an unsuccessful image.
On a technical side, I did learn something from this image.
When looking for compositions, get some early on before the light sets in. Luckily, I did that with #13, and it led to a variation and slight improvement in its general quality. However, I don’t think this particular image of Mt. Leidy was meant to be. The one that was meant to be? This one.