Making the “Red Hydrant” image

Lightroom film strip

Every day I drive past this field and each time I do, I see an image ….
Now I don’t typically plan my images. It’s rare. But the field caught my eye because of how the light would hit it and then there was the little red hydrant.

The red hydrant was definitely the subject.

I knew the field would have to be shot in the morning …. and I knew that the road … was dangerous to be standing on. There is a ton of traffic on this road. It’s a main commuter corridor.

The process is well documented by my film strip. In my eye, the final image (as shown on my Instagram) was so different then what I found when I finally stopped to shoot. The lighting was completely off and I couldn’t stand where I wanted due to the road being so busy and if I did stand in the middle of traffic, the power lines would be in the way. I didn’t want to photoshop the lines out later. I did venture out into the road and that’s how I determined the power lines were not going to work.

I tried a few different angles, even considering not shooting the hydrant at all and making it all about the field. I knew I’d make a final decision on the angle and subject later so I wasn’t too worried about making it about the field instead. Sometimes we don’t realize what the subject really is until after we’ve shot a scene. We can compose the specifics in our minds while mistakenly photographing the generals. It became obvious later that I was correct all along. The hydrant was my subject. And this image was about color!

I decided to wait on the light. It was very cloudy and the sun was hidden. I didn’t want to burn later and was almost going to leave when the sun began to make it’s appearance on the far right side of the field (JPIB385). Eventually it started filing in as I’d hoped (JPIB387) but still hadn’t reached the field enough. I was hoping it wouldn’t fill in too quickly but it did (JPIB389). Then it went dark near me again (JPIB3392/393) but the 16mm lens wasn’t working for me so I quickly switched to the Zeiss 12mm (JPIB394) and got what I was hoping for. I had already decided where I was going to be if and when the light ever came together.

I spent some time in PS working on the grass area. Initially I ilminated all the dirt … but after quite a few moments of constipation … decided to leave it as it was.

Hope you like it!