Story of a Photograph #1

Hopefully, while visiting my website, you’ve browsed the gallery of my photos. I add to it occasionally but before now I haven’t explained why I took a particular photo, why I think it deserves to be here, or the process of seeing a scene and ‘snapping’ it. I’ve just put it on this website with no comment.

Having enjoyed ‘proper’ photography since I was a teenager I now take all of my photos on my iPhone, and will spend a little time editing them either within Instagram or using Snapseed. This process is rather like ‘cheating’ because the end result can dramatically change the original scene, but that is one of the joys of ‘iPhoneography’ and it’s why I thought I would highlight this particular photo in the first of what could become a series.

I regularly take a walk along the Eastbourne promenade, often taking in the upper walk before heading down for the return leg along the seafront itself. Today was a fairly wild day with the wind blowing, grey skies, and a rather grumpy sea. The thing I first noticed today was the sound of the sea, then I saw the sea itself higher up the beach and frothing in anger. It’s difficult to convey the power, but every time I take this walk I picture the continent, out of sight across the channel, and see the tide battering Eastbourne, imagining it doing the same along hundreds of miles along the UK’s south coast. You see the power of the water in the shapes it makes, and has made for centuries, along the beach itself, and the cliffs. It’s always impressive but always different.

Today I took a number of photos, all of the water crashing into the beach, and tried to capture the movement and drama of it all. I did take a couple of shots of the sea being thrown up as it hit the groynes but those didn’t really work very well, possibly because I wasn’t close enough in to the action. Anyway, on the return leg of my walk I turned to look back towards Beachy Head. The cliffs are always impressive, but today it was the clouds that caught my eye. I couldn’t name the cloud formation but I liked the look of it, and while I was looking the sun began to peek through as if it wanted a part of the action. It wasn’t quite full sunshine, but it lit the scene nicely and I took the ‘original’ image you see below.

Having edited the original photo with Snapseed, then posted a version on Instagram, I was looking at the series of images I had taken and saw the three versions of the same image alongside each other:

Each shows exactly the same scene.

You may prefer the original because that is exactly how it looked as I stood there, but knowing the tools at my disposal I’m pleased with the edited result because I saw the potential in the scene for a dramatic photograph and was able to produce what I had imagined in my mind’s eye.