In the park at dawn

I am and simultaneously am not a morning type. Mentally, I have always performed in the early morning hours (during studying for exams and such), much more than during late night hours. On the contrary, when it came to sports, I sucked at every attempt at sports before 2:00 p.m. Similarly, I hate waking up and leaving the house very early in the morning, and could never understand how these strange people I see jogging at 6:00 a.m. manage to do it. The exception is going to the mountains or in general hiking in the countryside. In these cases, I still hate waking up in the middle of the night, but when I finally find myself in the countryside during the early morning hours, I am always very happy I have convinced myself to get out of bed. There is something magical about these hours, when everything is quieter, there are fewer people and cars around, the light and the scenery change by the minute and you feel that you have the whole day, full or promises and opportunities, ahead of you.

So it was that last week I found myself in a park during dawn. This is by no means the biggest or the most scenic park in the Munich area but it has a lake and trees and peacefulness and every park is beautiful at dawn. I had been hopping for some snow, but it was quite dry and the ground was bereft of frost. I want to focus on two photos on this post and would really appreciate feedback from you (the multitude of my readers – all eight of you lol) on both of them. Here is the first one:

High tension - fine art photography
Went a bit wild during processing here

The park is unfortunately criss-crossed by high tension wires and has two big pylons in it. This severely limits photographing opportunities if one doesn’t want wires or pylons in the frame. I decided to photograph one of the pylons as I was walking next to it. I took two shots, the one you see above and another one where the pylon is positioned diagonally on the frame. Here are the original shots:

High tension pylon
The original of the above photo
High tension pylon - Notis Stamos
The other attempt at photographing the pylon.

Later at home I decided I liked the straight one more (not much, just more than the diagonal one) and because I wasn’t particularly impressed by the original shot, started experimenting and ended up with the result you see above. If you have read other posts, you will have already figured out that I like this painterly look. Making the bushes white as if they were frozen was a last minute inspiration, mainly in order to make them less prominent, to separate them from the pylon and to blend them more with the sky. Or maybe I was subconsciously disappointed that there was no frost in the first place and (subconsciously) decided to “make things right”. In any case I like the result a lot more than the original but all feedback and ideas about other directions this photo could be processed towards would be greatly appreciated.

This next shot is one I took earlier on that day.

Tree - Lake reflection - Dawn
One of my all time favorites

This is one of those shots I really love but leaves others indifferent. Which is the great thing about photography and art in general; if you like it then it doesn’t matter what others think; unless you are trying to sell it of course. Anyway, coming back to the photo … I was troubled when taking it because I was limited to the right by another pylon and wires and hence couldn’t include the whole tree. I was also unsure as to what I should include in the foreground. The grass was not interesting, there were no stones or leafs on the ground, no branches or anything. The grass in the water (visible in the image) is what I found relatively interesting at that time and that’s why I included it (I think). At home I didn’t like it much and suppressed it as much as possible during post processing. Other than that I haven’t done much to the image, other than some sharpening, an overall temperature decrease and an enhancement of cloud structure. There is also a partially B&W version of it in the landscapes gallery in my website (address in the About page). As soon as I was done, I fell in love with this photo. The immediate reaction from The Wife was a lot less enthusiastic (something along the lines of “hmmm well … not bad … what are these things under the water?”). Maybe having been there elicits a different emotional response when seeing a photo. Or maybe it’s just a matter of personal taste. In any case reactions differ and I am curious to see your reaction to this one.

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