I’m not usually someone who likes to include people in images taken of the great outdoors. But there are always exceptions. People sometimes provide a sense of scale – important in mountainous country when the vastness of the landscape can only be appreciated if it is contrasted by the smallness of mankind walking within that ‘scape.
Images of paths can benefit from a figure or two to provide a focus of interest, and whenever I see a ridge or a horizon with a sky beyond I’m prepared to wait for someone to come into view. And that’s where life can get difficult as was the case with acquiring (or more accurately I should say ‘creating’) the image above. I spotted this little group of mother, son and family dogs approaching this point and thought they would make an interesting group – I loved the muted colours – as they breasted the ridge. The camera’s data shows I shot three images within a three-second time-frame. The window of opportunity was that narrow. It was simply shoot and hope – waiting to catch the ideal relationship at the crest of the ridge was a recipe for a missed opportunity.
Back home it was clear there was no ‘right’ shot – they were all ‘misses’. One out of the three elements was OK in each shot, the other two elements were not. I was about to hit Delete when I thought: the background is just about identical, why don’t I try assembling an image by combining the best elements of the three original images: mother from one, dogs from another, and child from the third. And that is what I did as you see in the image above – Clone tool to the rescue once again.
The three original images are in the gallery below, click on the first and navigate through. Then look at the final image at the top of this Post again. The lesson from this experience is that faced with a shot of people on the move (over whom you have no control), take more than one image. So often an image is ruined by something as simple as an odd-angled arm, an awkward leg, or a turned head. The more I use Photoshop the more impressed I am with the potential of the Clone tool to help me to rescue images that a few years ago I would never have thought could be rescued.