Shaping the image in my memory

img_6608 Waiting for rain, Highway 22, Waikato, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2020
“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships!” — Ansel Adams

It’s Sunday evening and we’re driving through drought-struck farmland in the north-west Waikato. Rain clouds have flirted shamelessly with the skyline all day, but the land remains parched and disappointed.

Rounding a corner, we see a distant hill quite dramatically lit by low sunshine breaking through the clouds. It’s beautiful and stark and emphasizes how dry the land has become.

T stops the car. I hop out and wade through long, brittle grass. As I’m fiddling with the camera, a police car stops to check that we’re ok and that the car hasn’t broken down on this very quiet stretch of road. T assures him we’re fine and I wave my camera ineffectually to establish my bona fide. He nods and zooms off — possibly a tad faster than might be strictly legal. But I suppose there have to be some compensations for patrolling country roads on a Sunday night.

When we finally get home (after quite a few more photo stops), I download the images. “Cop-stop hill” is too dark and doesn’t have the contrast I remember, but the bones of the shot are good and all the pixels I need are there, just waiting to be tweaked.

Thank goodness for PhotoShop.

And for Debbie at Travel with Intent, whose weekly quote challenge gave me the perfect excuse to tell you the story of this image.

45 thoughts on “Shaping the image in my memory

  1. I loved reading your tale but I did with a heavy heart… and I love the “cop stop hill” 😉
    Had a discussion with my HH; he wants to visit Chile for a longer period of time, I wd like to do the same with NZ, BUT it looks unlikely for either one of these dreams to ever happen. Do take care love, I’m glad to gather that your husband went and returned safely lat week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jo.
      I’m teaching myself to use Photoshop. I used to ask my son for help (he’s a professional photographer) but he is a lousy, impatient teacher and I’m finding the tutorials and google searches much less annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I do photograph in RAW; since early last year. It does mean I have to be more conscientious with my file management, both on the SD cards and on my computer, but I like the flexibility it offers.
      I have a love-hate relationship with writing. I did it professionally for so long I lost my own voice. Maybe I’m getting it back?


      • I’ve dabbled with RAW but never really got into editing properly. Maybe this is the year to try again since I am trying to cut down on the numbers of photos I take. I like the idea of you getting your voice back 🙂


  2. First post of my morning! I marvel at the lyricism of your story-telling: “rain clouds … flirted shamelessly with the skyline” & “long brittle grass” particularly got to me.

    Re-reading the post with my walnut toast (with pb & banana) and cup of tea, and giggling with Older Daughter over your response to the quote with your image. Very sharp, Su, very sharp indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

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