It always seems a little odd to me how a picture can stick in my mind, and in my computer’s library, for years. Just … sitting there … being quiet … not causing any trouble. And year after year I’ll stumble over it … and sort of rediscover it. Pass it by … thinking to myself … “I’ve got to get that one out and play with it a bit. It has possibilities.” But more time goes by … the seasons change and I think to myself, “well, maybe I’ll play with it later.”
It can be a perfectly lovely image. Take this one for example. Not a thing wrong with it right out of the camera. (And yes, it really is right out of the camera) Good lighting … okay composition … good detail. I personally love the view of the mountain in the far distance.
Like many of my images, the original was taken on top of Blue Knob Mountain in Claysburg, PA. What made me wait from January of 2011 to December of 2014? Was it something inside me that wanted more … or was the timing wrong? I don’t know. I’ve added lots of straight photography winter images to my website. What made me hold back on this one?
Then a year or so later I hauled it out and started playing around with it. A few tweaks … some Photoshop and Corel Painter fun … and I really liked it! No, I really did … in fact, I still do!
But still I held off adding it to my website. What the heck was I waiting for?
I tripped over it again about a month or so ago and decided this time was it. This time I’d finish it and publish it. So, back it went to Photoshop and a few other programs for more tickling beneath the chin. Maybe if I slapped a nice couple of textures over it … gave it a little depth … a little mystery … added some birds flying over (got those Canada Geese up at Conowingo Dam recently … one of the only decent shots I got that day!)
But no … I could feel myself doing the Julia Roberts thing as she walked down the aisle in “Runaway Bride” … nope … nope. Nope. Turning … running … but I still liked it … I did.
As I thought about it, I realized my not putting it out there for all the world to see may not really have had anything to do with the image itself … it was more what was going on inside of me. And at that particular infinitesimally tiny moment in time … for whatever reason … I needed something that I personally felt had some pow to it. Call it pow … call it whatever. I don’t know if the prehistoric guy drawing stick figures on the cave walls had this crazy thing going on inside of him or not. Maybe this is where the expression “gilding the lily” came from … I don’t know. But after even more messing with the thing, I finally decided it was ready for prime time. And voila … I finally got a version that I decided to post. I’m not saying it was the best version … but the time was finally right … a little like the crescendo in an intricate and breathtakingly beautiful symphony.
And now for the age-old question that artists (and writers and musicians and electrical engineers, for all I know) have been asking themselves down through the ages. Is this the best version? After all, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. Not a thing wrong with any of the previous versions. In fact (and here’s me doing my shameless self-promotion thing) if any of my devoted readers prefers one of the other versions and would like to see it hanging on their own walls (or the wall of a friend … makes a great gift) just let me know!!
Or … maybe … you know what?? Maybe it’s that I … and that cave man guy … and that kid with the first flute who played that first tune in front of his friends … just got tired of fooling around with the thing and said … “Oh what the heck.”
Clicking on the final version of “Winter Wonder” will take you to it’s spot on my website, just like always, and just like always, the nasty watermark will be much less intrusive there. However, clicking on the rest of the versions won’t do that. Sorry. But again … if you’re interested … I could make them available … just let me know!!