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Going back in time

Michael Pilkington

One of my favourite places in Ice­land, shoot­ing the sea stacks of Vik from a direc­tion where not many peo­ple pho­to­graph. I was there with a group in Feb­ru­ary 2017. I have vis­it­ed here many times before and indeed since. It was a bit­ter­ly cold day and a snow storm was work­ing its way towards us. Not long after tak­ing this image we were engulfed in heavy snow and the scene was oblit­er­at­ed. As the tide had pre­vi­ous­ly come in it had cleared the snow and ice from the black sands. Some years this area just freezes over and is blan­ket­ed in white hid­ing every­thing below it. On these occa­sions, the tide comes in but makes its way under the ice and snow. 

On this par­tic­u­lar vis­it, I was aston­ished to see this orange sand. I had nev­er seen it before and I have no clue what it is but its shape and colour was just beau­ti­ful con­ve­nient­ly posi­tioned to lead the eye to the stacks in the dis­tance. It just had to be captured!

As part of our online course Mas­ter­ing Image Inter­pre­ta­tion, the raw file was giv­en to the stu­dents to work on them­selves and to com­pare how they had inter­pret­ed the file ver­sus my own. I was not hap­py with the ver­sion I had done myself many years ago so decid­ed to rework it. I am quite hap­py with the result. It more accu­rate­ly rep­re­sents the feel­ing and con­di­tions I expe­ri­enced back then and real­ly accen­tu­ates the black sands and the stormy sky in the distance. 

It is true to say that over the years your sense of aes­thet­ic, skills and expe­ri­ence and the capa­bil­i­ty of post pro­cess­ing tools changes and improves over time giv­ing you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to revis­it old work with fresh eyes and ideas. This is quite plea­sur­able — not only in achiev­ing what I would con­sid­er bet­ter results but also reliv­ing the moment that you were there.