Trust Your Instincts

October Sunset, Agua Caliente Park, Tucson, Arizona

Trust Your Instincts.

The above photograph is one of many photographs I have taken of Agua Caliente Park. Many, as in several hundred in a space of a decade if not longer. Most of them of this scene or close to it, from the same side of the pond as in this one (you are not allowed to go to the other side). Several of these photographs I count as some of my favorites and in my very biased opinion, some of my best. This one above just joined that group, today, without any special fanfare or occasion for going to the park on this typical Sunday afternoon, and without the benefit of an awesome sunset.

This photo is a product of 3 shots post-processed as a single HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo using HDR Efex Pro 2 by Nik Software, still available for free from Google, and then tweaked a bit more with POLARR. The scene looked great to my eye but my first shots were not that good, so I did as I have done many times before, I trusted my instincts (and my equipment as well) and decided to "bracket" 3 photos to post process later. I am fully aware and humble to know that many a better photographer than me would not have had to resort to such schemes to produce an equivalent or even better photo. I also know better and now understand, and so should you, that many of the photographs you see on the net, those that grab your attention have been post-processed. Some more so than others, some with better techniques than others, some by better photographers and better post-processing techniques.
So don't give up on a scene that you like, do your best, capture what you can, bracket - manually or automatically, then do your best also with your post-processing software (you are doing some post-processing, right?). 
Well, I just shared a bit of my workflow with you. I don't always use HDR techniques but they are definitely in my toolbox, and with no apologies. Most of the time I start with a single photo to achieve my desired results. The following quote gave me confidence and encouragement in what I do, I hope it helps you too.

You don't take a photograph, you make it.  Ansel Adams.

October 29, 2017


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