Although I visit the Photoclubalpha forum daily I rarely comment. So, since I had prepared the write-up below anyway, I decided to drop a copy here too.
For the month of May our local camera club has the set subject "Solitude". I looked up the word and noted that "solitude" is generally related to a warm feeling associated with a quiet scene (as opposed to "loneliness" which has an unhappy feeling).
Being essentially a landscape photographer, I immediately thought back to wide open spaces full of silence and atmosphere with no particular centre of interest. Well that’s easy - our Namibian trip last year. Lots and lots of those images could suit "solitude". I wouldn't choose anything that included the ghost towns - the feeling there could be a bit jarring to some. But wide open vistas - plenty to choose from.
I need a coloured image for projection, a monochrome print, and probably a coloured print (if I don't consider the monochrome print to be superior).
The Coloured Image for Projection.
I selected an image taken from the top of a small hill overlooking the sharp hills surrounding the Swakop River. The Swakop River itself really consists of a dry river bed, although occasional vegetation suggests that there is probably some sub-surface water. The original image, which was taken just before sunset, has been flipped horizontally to improve the composition.
The Coloured Print.
Here I selected a shot taken in the Sperrgebiet, the forbidden diamond area of Namibia. In the distant past it was possible to pick up diamonds here, but now the diamonds are gone and ghost towns are left behind. A permit is required to enter the Sperrgebiet, and these are available to licensed tour operators.
Again, the original image was captured from the top of a small hill. It was around 08:30 in the morning and we were very lucky in that some clouds were causing shadows to scuttle across the scene. One can see the road on which we were travelling, but also the remains of a previous road. What happens here is that sand dunes walk across the landscape. You are wasting your time to try and fight these, so the authorities just build another road around the dune until it moves on. As a result this whole area is covered with evidence of these temporary diversions.
Although there were clouds overhead, there was little evidence of cloud cover in the original background. So I have utilised one of my collection of sky images to improve the composition.
The Monochrome Print.
I decided to use the coloured image above as the basis for the monochrome print. Two different versions were generated using Nik Silver Efex Pro and blended manually to produce the final image.
regards - Peter