Good to see you back for the seventh installment of this series. I have been having a great time looking back over some of the images from this trip. What I started out thinking was going to be a bunch of re-edits of photographs that already existed in this gallery has turned into an introduction of some completely new images. In fact, the first five images that we talked about were all brand new to this gallery. The last one was a completely different take on an image that has appeared in this gallery before. Here we are, on entry seven and I am about to introduce the first “freshening” of a previous edit. It is not all that different from the original, but I have put a lot of new tricks on this one which I think make the image much better than it was twelve years ago.
Since I have shot this one my opinion to it has changed greatly over the years. It was yet another one that I shot during the day cruise from Seward on the 16th of May. This was actually the highlight of the cruise when we actually moved in very close to a glacier. I don’t recall exactly which one this was, but it might have been the Aialik Glacier. Anyway, the boat had slowed and was coming into the glacial waters for us all to get a better look. While this was happening, I was up on the bow of the boat and couldn’t help but notice the state flag on the jackstaff. With the glacier behind the flag, I could really see a story developing here. I got into position and framed the shot. I then waited for the flag to stretch out in the breeze before snapping the image. It wasn’t a grand image at all and it was one that I forgot about soon after shooting it. When I did my 27 hour marathon editing session once I got back home I saw it and I edited it. It was a simple image and didn’t require much at all. It was still a forgettable image for me though so I’m kind of surprised that it made the cut. I think that the saving grace was the fact that the subject was the flag and there was an undeniable story here.
Over the years, it is that story that has really come to mean something to me and my opinion of this image has been elevated quite a bit. It fits with my current practices of photography with storytelling and because of that I have used this image in several different ways to illustrate my Alaskan trip. When I came upon my collection of RAW images I was thrilled to see an opportunity to work on this one again. I wasn’t sure what I could do different though since it was such a simple picture. I just knew that I wanted to give it a try. My goals were simple, I wanted to make the flag pop a little more and to give a little better color balance to the image.
Because of the story behind this, I felt that I could go a little overboard with the edit to really bring that story home. I did a few global adjustments to get the color palette a little more muted for balance and then I proceeded to do a lot of local edits and some selective hue, saturation, and luminance adjustments. This simple image actually took me about 45 minutes to edit to this point. In the end, I felt that I had captured the moment all over again and that this was by far a better rendition than my first attempt in Photoshop. I debated keeping the title the same since it did fit the image well, but in the end, I thought that simply Alaska fit this image the best. It summed up my experience quite well and there was no need to complicate the title for this one. This grab shot was almost an afterthought on the boat, and I didn’t spend that much more time thinking about it when I got home, but I am sure glad that I kept it and had the good sense to run it through the edit process once again.
I still think that this image says so much with so very little involved. I hope that you agree, and I hope to see you when I return with my next new image!