CH-47 Chinook captured by Z 9 / Z24-120

Coming away with nothin happens in more than just wildlife photography for me! Being “skunked” is an aspect of photography I don’t much like but it is a part of it none the less. Whether the subject doesn’t show up, the light doesn’t show up and anything in between, the shutter never goes click. This is when my favorite Jon Stewart quote comes to mind, “You can’t polish a turd.” I will typically do one of two things at these times. Most often, I simply don’t shoot. There are sometimes though “what if” ideas pop into my mind, experiments you might call them when I wonder if I tried something, a result or lesson might come from the exercise. This photo is one of those what if moments.

I have a gray subject against a gray sky on a gray tarmac with “gray” light lighting the whole scene. The only blacks were inside the Chinook and there were no whites. Looking at this, my what if experiment was, could the new masking in ACR bring out something of this gray scene in a B&W photo. The answer, not so much. The Chinook does have some shape from the highlights but texture is lost. The sky, it was a gray marine layer which I knew would yield little likeable. The tarmac was the surprise that was my take away. It’s a small detail but the stance of the Chinook comes from the tarmac. So, 20% of the photo was a positive lesson to put in the creative bank. The other 80% went in the “don’t do again” bin. And that’s how it often goes for me when the viewfinder is empty.

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