While in California creating landscape images in Alabama Hills, I also explored a number of small ghost towns. Most of the towns were relics from the early twentieth century when mining was profitable and locomotives carried travelers to these far-flung, rural landscapes.
It was then I came across an abandoned swimming pool which (according to a local I ran into) hadn't been used since the 1970s. The pool was overgrown, run-down, and half-full of dark, dank rain water.
But what made the pool so captivating to me was its close proximity to a large natural salt flat, surrounded by beautiful mountains. That juxtaposition of subjects felt unusual, unexpected, and rich with visual contrast. In other words, great photographic material.
I spent time trying one composition after another, trying to find the right angle and perspective that captured my creative intent. Eventually I landed on one that felt right (shown below).
Weeks later, I perused all the rejected images from that day, and realized they held quite a lot of educational value. An opportunity to talk about what went wrong with an image, why it didn't work, and what could be done to improve it. Most photographers delete or never share these images, but for me process is just as important as an image, and is worth sharing and documenting.
Hence the start of a new video series on my YouTube channel named Anatomy of an Image. In the first episode (embedded below), I share all the abandoned pool images captured that day and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each. More episodes will be added in the future whenever I have a series of similar images worth sharing.