WARMING UP - 25 September 2014
The Milky Way from Hunter's Head - Acadia National Park, ME
Link to original full-sized image: http://www.tom-hill.biz/Galleries/Scenics/Elsewhere-Japan-Plains-Maine/i-JmsPxf5/A
A few years ago someone told me every artist needs to warm up. Like athletes, artists need to stretch, exercise, and generally get their skills going before they can start to produce at levels they expect. At first I didn't believe this person. "You always have your skills. It's just a matter of turning them on and going at it." I thought that when I was shooting a lot, just about every weekend. I was well practiced at the time. Now, I shoot less and definitely realize I have to go through a period of poor vision and generally crappy results before I start producing images I like. The image above is a product of exactly that situation.
Even though I'm shooting more, about once a month than I had been, it's still not enough. I shot last month near Lone Pine and captured some of my first night images in many long months. I was surprised by the results because the post processing was so intensive. It took a while to relearn what I had forgotten. Fast forward a month later, I realized I'd practically had forgotten those special techniques that bring many images together to make an all encompassing piece of art like you see here. Not only was I bad on the post processing side, I wasn't very good with establishing a vision of what I wanted. Just a little bit of confusion in my mind really affected my first night here in Acadia National Park.
I started my first night at the top of Cadillac Mountain. The conditions were good and I did capture a few great images. But, I couldn't bring together any of them as a final product to produce what I thought might match what I thought I imagined up on the mountain.
Fast forward to 24 hours later, I knew exactly what I wanted. Inspired by the trail and error of trying to make something of nothing from the captures of previous night, I picked a different spot that would bring together the elements I wanted; strong foreground with awesome night sky. In this case I wanted wet rocks with the Milky Way in the background.
This image is pretty much what I envisioned. Post processing was a bit of a challenge here on my laptop. Still, the image isn't bad and won't need much touchup when I return home. All and All, a success and I attribute it to warming up the previous night.
I'll explain how I made this image in a later article.