Chalk Track Walker

I was out for a walk the other day and I stared up a stretch of track cut into the chalky soil and thought it was worth a shot.

Back home I took a look at the original image and realized how dead it was in colour and that it cried out for what in my youth was sometimes called the ‘Soot and Whitewash’ treatment – which is exactly what I gave it.

It got a thorough going over in Photoshop, after a B&W conversion, and I was really quite pleased with how it looked. Except there was something missing (and here comes the confession): there was no figure in the original image that I shot.

So I spent time hunting through the archives and found exactly that – a figure. It took a while to shrink it down to size and mimic the high contrast of the Chalk Track and then I slotted it in, on the horizon – job done.

The camera never lies, they say. That is true – it’s the photographer who lies if he fails to own up to an image that didn’t actually exist and had been manufactured from two others. Confession over. You would probably never have guessed – but then it wouldn’t have been honest to claim my ‘seeing eye’ had cleverly spotted and waited patiently for this shot, assuming there was a willing accomplice prepared to walk up the track for me – which there wasn’t. My accomplice (aka my wife) had decided to sit this walk out and I hadn’t the heart to run back to the car and beg her to take an uphill walk. I’m all heart! Enjoy the manufactured image. Comments as always are most welcome

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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24 Responses to Chalk Track Walker

  1. it is very very good..especially in b/w..and I wouldn’t be able to tell about the added figure…sort of reminds me a bit of an old Don McCullin image I have seen somwehere but can’t remember where. Anyway it is really superb, very stark and bleak.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much for commenting, James. I’ve visited one or two chalky landscape areas and the contrasts inherent in them always encourages me to produce a contrasty result – stark and bleak were the emotions I wanted to create and I hoped the lonely figure would add to that.

  2. rigmover says:

    Very nice photo, the added figure adds to it nicely.

  3. Very atmospheric, and the figure makes the shot!

  4. oneowner says:

    The figure adds a lot of interest to the shot, it’s better for the addition. No need to apologize.

  5. Len says:

    Very nicely shot and composited Andy. When I saw the image, I thought that the inclusion of the person really made the image. Then I read your post and you saw the same thing and perfectly put it in. Well done, my friend.

  6. ehpem says:

    I agree – the image makes the shot and is totally appropriate.

  7. Wow…no I never would have guessed that you inserted the figure into the image. It works really well. I like it.

  8. Absolutely amazing I love every bit of this work. And the B&W is just spot on!!!!!

  9. Phillip says:

    Wonderful job Andy. I love the creativity!

  10. Andy, A perfect combination. I love the path!

  11. seekraz says:

    No, we wouldn’t have known, Andy…but it is a beautiful shot. I can understand how the B&W rendering would have covered the less than wonderful colors, too. I like it a lot. 🙂

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