Story of an image – Grisedale Horseshoe

Blog

This image is one to come back to. I’m still in doubt whether to post in my Portfolio. It has the elements but at I post this blog, the negatives outweigh the positives.

This is what was in front of me when I turned around from the foot of Grisedale Tarn in the Eastern Fells of The Lake District. The horseshoe shape is without doubt a very strong point of interest and certainly holds attention. I framed the shot wanting the whole horseshoe in so had to use my 16-35 wide angle lens. It was important to have symmetry so I ensured there was equal space on either side. I chose a long exposure to smooth out the water and the moving clouds. I used a 10 stop ND filter which gave me a 20 second exposure. I was pleased I made that decision.

Where I begin to question whether or not the image is worthy of Portfolio stardom is the background. The light works well and pleased I made sure it was in focus having chosen to focus on that rather than the traditional foreground. The background element however is on the left and is unbalanced to the rest of the shot. Ideally I want the background in the top central third. Just imagine moving the whole background over so lies central above the U of the horseshoe. Much better right? Secondly, I am not keen on the white water in the streams as find these quite distracting. I want the viewers eye to calmly follow the bottom of the stream, leading up to the background light. There are too many obstacles in this journey.

Despite my doubts, it is a wonderful scene and the 10km hike to Grisedale Tarn was definitely worth it. I will return and attempt to improve this discovery. The landscape photography drug continues to drive me.

6 thoughts on “Story of an image – Grisedale Horseshoe

  1. James, I remember this image from your vlog. I’m not quite sure about it either. The horseshoe shape is very interesting and dominant, but still I’m on the fence about it being “portfolio worthy”. I think you also posted a tighter square crop of this image as well, I think it might have similar pros and cons. As you wrote, you did make many good, thoughtful decisions in composing this, but I can see your dilemma.

    Obviously what others think about an image won’t influence how you ultimately think of it. Some of my own favorite photos are not particularly great, but I like them—probably due to the experience involved in taking the photo.

    Your portfolio is excellent and something to be quite proud of. If this one doesn’t make the cut, there will be more to come. Cheers, Jeff

  2. James, I remember this image from your vlog. I’m not quite sure about it either. The horseshoe shape is very interesting and dominant, but still I’m on the fence about it being “portfolio worthy”. I think you also posted a tighter square crop of this image as well, I think it might have similar pros and cons. As you wrote, you did make many good, thoughtful decisions in composing this, but I can see your dilemma.

    Obviously what others think about an image won’t influence how you ultimately think of it. Some of my own favorite photos are not particularly great, but I like them—probably due to the experience involved in taking the photo.

    Your portfolio is excellent and something to be quite proud of. If this one doesn’t make the cut, there will be more to come. Cheers, Jeff

  3. Incidentally, I don’t know if it’s just me, but every time I post on this site I get an email asking me to confirm my account. I have registered and eventually it seems to work, but it’s a cumbersome process. Has anyone else mentioned this?

  4. I love this image James, I love it’s simplicity. I feel the my eye is initially drawn to the curve in the foreground and then lead up to the bright area on the upper left third. Personally I don’t think the white areas in the water are too distracting.

    1. The key is simplicity of course and the horseshoe is what attracted me to this wonderful scene. Like a lot of landscape photographers, I always aim to improve and criticise where necessary. I will return for another take some day to better myself. Thank you Chris

Thanks for your time, please leave a comment