This is my anniversary, so I knew exactly what photo to use today. Two years ago we took an anniversary trip to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area in Tennessee. We go to Cades Cove every time we’re there, so my husband questioned whether we needed to see it again. Actually, I had an agenda for Cades’ Cove, and so I explained to him why we needed to go on that 11-mile loop.
I purchased my first DSLR in March of 2008 and we took a family vacation to Pigeon Forge in June. In a house in the back of the Cades Cove, a mountain community where time stands still, I photographed a window with filmy, old curtains blowing in the breeze. Although I imagined the final shot I, my knowledge of photography and my camera weren’t adequate to achieve it.
Returning two years later, I believed I could take the shot and said something like: “Yes, we need to go because there’s this house in the back of the loop and there’s a room with a window and I need to take a picture in that room.”
However nonsensical it sounded my husband agreed, because he supports me like that.
Unfortunately, the room or the curtains or something was different than I remembered and I didn’t get the shot; it just wasn’t there. At this point I was more than a little depressed.
Then I walked into a room in the back of the house—I room that I didn’t remember—and there sat this gloriously decrepit handmade barrel next to a window with the last of the late afternoon sun embracing it . . .
I can’t completely put it into words, but this may be my favorite shot. Ever. This room and these objects have history, tales to tell.
Walls, house, barrel, curtains: formed by the hands of the people who used them, who lived here. There’s no one to put those stories into words now, but I read lines of it within the image.
Hardship. Satisfaction. Struggle. Simplicity. Hard work. Family. Home. Peace.
What do you see?
- I applied a Lightroom preset called Noir Film, which I think I downloaded here. This is a preset for Lightroom 2 or 3, but can be used in LR4 using the directions from Day 3.
- Make the blacks blacker, using the Blacks slider in Lightroom.
- Increase exposure to bring out the shadows.
- Last, I went into the Tone Curve dialogue and set the Point Curve to Strong Contrast.
We’re talking photo editing and before and after shots in October. Find Day 1 and links to the whole series here. Sign up here to receive new posts in your inbox (click the link in the confirmation email from FeedBurner to complete your subscription).
[Click here to read my other 31 Days series, 31 Days of Encouragement and 31 Days of Real Life.]