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View to the Past (or Future?)

I took this photograph about a year ago. It was way outside my normal subject matter, but I am very pleased with the way it turned out.

Train tracks

We were exploring in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien, IL. This train track ran right along one of the paths. It was a beautiful day and I liked the way the shadows fell. So I asked my husband to watch my back (safety first!) and I captured a few shots.

I got home and looked at the shots. Very different compositions. The first was interesting, but it didn’t tell a story. The second was too dark and monotonous – to me it needed a horizon.

The last one was my favorite, but in color it was missing something. Or rather, it had too much of something. The colors made it busy. While it was what I’d actually seen with my eyes, it didn’t communicate the mood I’d felt.

So I decided to convert it to black & white. Aha! That was the magic. I darkened the sky just a tad. Even better. This was the mood I’d envisioned. To me, it’s about looking into the past, the good and the bad making us who we are today. But everybody has their own interpretation, and that’s what I love about photography.

What does this image say to you? Which is your favorite of the three?


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