Initially, I was going back and forth as to whether this image was a display of minimalism and, after a few minutes, I decided that it actually wasn’t. I thought, well, there is just a hint of a dirt road and some corn fields taking up about 1/10 of the frame. But, what I decided was that this was a better example of when less is more rather than minimalism. Perhaps, if the sky was blank blue and without any clouds, it would have more of an air of minimalism.
In any case, I wanted to share this shot because I do feel it conveys an important lesson about how giving your viewer less than what is available can actually help spur their imagination. I have versions of this image where the framing included less of the sky and more of the road, but I felt that this particular composition was most effective for several reasons:
1. It allowed me to showcase more of the beautiful sky, clouds, and anticrepuscular rays.
2. It gave a much stronger color contrast between the greens, yellows and blues.
3. It provided an instantly recognizable foreground anchor with the over-brightened dirt road
4. I just found it to be more visually appealing :)
So, when you’re out shooting, or even during post processing, always consider whether you can compose or crop more effectively to add drama to your shot. It’s a really great practice to get used to.
In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure tone-mapped HDR image completed wholly in Photomatix. I actually preferred the look of the tone-mapping for this shot from Photomatix rather than from Lightroom 4.1. Go figure.
Stylization was done in Perfect Effects 3 by. I applied Magic Sunset to the sky only and masked it off of the foreground. For the corn field, I applied Green Enhancer and a tiny bit of Thermopylae. For the road, I added some Golden Hour Enhancer and Vecchio. I also globally added Tonal Contrast and Rich Glow.
Final touches were achieved in Lightroom 4.1.
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