Burke’s Island, no more than a large sea rock, it carries such a presence in Kilfarressy Cove; it’s the first thing you see when you pull up the car in the carpark. While I have visited this cove numerous times, and have already published images this image is actually from my very first trip, back in October 2014. And how lucky I was, not only arriving during a perfectly calm dawn of beautiful muted colours, but to also witness a low lying gentle mist rolling across the sea, partly obscuring the Island. Anytime I see this island now I am reminded of this moment, and my first thought of “The Land that Time Forgot”. Those white flecks perched on the top of the island are actually birds, and if you were to zoom in to the image you can make them out clearly, and I confess that every time I do I half expect to see some dinosaurs! 🙂
I think this is a good example of where I needed time and space to figure out how to prepare this image for print. I loved the frame from the moment I captured it, and no doubt a lot of that is wrapped up to the full experience of being there. I took it 2.5 years ago though, so why did it take me so long to process and publish? The question I asked myself every time I reviewed it was, How?; how do I process this image to draw out the emotions I felt when shooting it, to portray to the viewer the idea that this is indeed The Land that Time Forgot
For a start it’s a low contrast image, unsurprisingly. But beyond the low contrast scene, I shot it with a Mamiya Sekor 80mm Medium Format lens, and while this lens is beautifully sharp it tends towards a low contrast rendition, particularly with long exposure times; the resulting file was much lower contrast then the actual scene. When I eventually felt ready to sit down and process this frame my first decision was how much contrast to reintroduce. I knew I wanted to draw out the island, and also highlight that gorgeous glowing mist, but I did not want to create too much contrast in either the sky nor the foreground sea; however I did want to create a little body in the clouds. And that is precisely where I started, adding a little contrast and clarity to the island and mist, and some additional contrast to the clouds.
I would love to hear your thoughts.