The rose problem

by Jon Sullivan - 2022-01-22

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Saturday morning. Where's some easy photos for this lazy photographer?

The plan was simple. Wake up early and get some San Diego morning photos. Somewhere easy. Not an adventure. Not original. Just easy. And outdoors, since my photography last year was just pictures of my lunch. Jon??!! Go. Out. Side.

Heading to Coronado to get something with the bridge and the sunrise is an easy choice. Hard not to get a great photo, 20 steps from the car, no one murdered recently in the area. But as I walk out the front door I realize I've screwed up the time. Sunrise is already starting to hint on the horizon. No way I'll make it in time. But no turning back, so I need a new plan. But it's San Diego, and if one has no plan, you just head to Balboa Park. Free, photogenic, and just down the street. And I have had an urge to get more photos in the rose garden with morning dew on the roses. Haven't done that in a long time. Roses it is. Good plan.

You see any roses there? Neither do I.

Okay then. I guess we're going to..... ummmm....

I guess we're going to wander down the Prado and practice HDR photos? Which I'm not great at, but when they turn out it's very satisfying. And they tend to be dark, over saturated, high dynamic range. Which is pretty much my "style" in a nutshell. So I should be trying more of it anyway.

As I get to that spot in the photo above and realize there are no roses, I decide I might as well try a shot with the fountain. /sigh.... I really want to love this photo. I want a non-awful composition to somehow just manifest magically in Lightroom. I spent too much time on it, failed and gave up, and have been stewing over it since. If it had more lawn in the foreground to push the fountain up. If I hadn't had to push the dynamic range way past what the pixels could handle. If there had actually been a sunrise. That stupid tree on the left. Not even close. If I try to add more foreground, which is the main problem, it's just a street which would make it worse.

I got some better photos after moving on. But this is the only one that might have had a great composition. No matter how good it is, the 50,000th photo of the Prado isn't going to make it all worth leaving the Hobbit hole. So much for easy.

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