This time the Pictures of the Month will give you some inkling as to how I produce my pictures and the time some of them can take. Back in May 2017, I took a road trip to the North East to find some childhood haunts and places that I’d not been to before. Whitby Abbey is one such place that I don’t remember visiting previously and this is the picture I created.
That is the view you get if you don’t pay to get onto the site which is now run by English Heritage. This looks to be a quite straightforward view, but this was my third attempt to generate a picture that I was happy with. I’ll show you how it went!
This is the actual view I had from my exterior vantage point. You may notice that there are no sheep, but we’ll come on to that later! The history and background of Whitby Abbey almost demanded a brooding, grey sky. I wanted to produce an image of foreboding that would befit the Dracula story. This was my first attempt.
Well, I managed to get a dark, brooding sky, but then the Abbey gets a bit lost in it and I certainly wasn’t happy with the grass in the foreground. I thought that I could, maybe, rectify this by removing some of the foreground and creating a mini-panorama style picture.
That was a bit better, but I still wasn’t happy with it. I decided that the Abbey doesn’t stand out enough from the sky and, also, because the idea of the dark, brooding sky is somewhat of a cliché. My next move was to substitute the dark sky for something a little more colourful.
I really do like the colourful sunset, but there is still the problem of the vast expanse of grass which is somewhat devoid of interest. At this stage, I was somewhat stumped.
On occasions like this, I’ve found it best to put the picture aside for a while and return to it with a fresh eye. This time, inspiration just appeared out of the ether! On one of our canal trips, I’d taken photos of fields of cows and sheep and I realised that a flock of grazing animals would be the perfect solution for a boring foreground. I also imported a more interesting summer sky to give the much more satisfying image you see at the top of the page.