I’m sure it happens to plenty of photographers. You happen upon an interesting location. You weigh up the possibilities and make decisions about angle, composition, exposure, depth of field, and more.
The image on the back of the camera looks acceptable so you move on, but then you upload it for processing and find something on your computer screen that is just…
You reach for your creative skills in Lightroom or Photoshop to try to give it some hint of atmosphere, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. You knew the scene had potential, but you didn’t quite find it.
And then you stumble across the work of someone else who did!
I mention this because I recently visited Saltwick Bay for a bit of seaside solitude and shot a few images along the way. It’s a popular spot for photographers in mid-summer for it has a unique aspect that means both sunrise and sunset can be shot over the sea at that time of year. Add in the topography of Saltwick Nab to the north and the submarine conning tower of Black Nab to the south and you have the compositional elements to make a great shot.
Of course on a fairly flat October day it was a different story, though perhaps it was my response that was the problem. Either way I shot Black Nab from a few different spots using both long and short exposures without much of a sense of achievement.
And then I saw this shot of the remains of the Admiral Von Tromp on ViewBug. It isn’t even credited to the photographer who shot it so I can’t sing his praises (though I would have cropped some of the foreground I think).
If I’d tried shooting the outcrop from the south I’d have found the wreck too and would have been overjoyed at the possibilities.
I think that’s what they call a kick-self moment.