What is the photo of:
A lone punt on the River Cam, Cambridge, UK
When was the photo taken:
About 07:00, early January 2006.
Why was this composition chosen:
I knew I wanted to come to this part of the river, as it had all the elements of a nice scene: the bridge, the tree, the river and banks with trees to ensure an interesting background. However, sometimes the punts are there and sometimes not. This time, there was only one punt, dutifully obliging with a pleasing angle, in relation to the bridge, tree and bank! In truth, it was slowly rotating round. A series of pictures, with the punt steadily changing it's angle, revealled this one to be the best. I chose this as the best because the punt formed a nice line, in harmony with the bridge and distant treeline. The near tree, although a little ragged, framed it nicely.
How was the photo taken:
With a camera? No. I hand-held at 1/10 sec, f8, ISO 800, using the EF-S Image Stabilised lens.
How was the photo processed:
I converted to black and white, and used a Photoshop black to clear filter to create the graduated effect from top to bottom. This just makes the sky less bland and stops the picture being filled with white at the top. I also cropped it to be horizontal, emphasising the length of the punt, and echoing the bridge and trees in the background. Also, it de-emphasised the sky and original foreground, which were of little interest. I adjusted levels, ensuring a good tonal spread on the histogram, and did an additional blending mode, with a copy of the layer set to screen, with opacity reduced to 40%.