This image is titled “Wrenches” and was created shortly after I returned to photography in 2004, I had been absent for a very long time as I raised a family and built a career. Upon my return I converted to digital and so I was learning both how to use this new tool as well searching for my own unique vision. It was a time of learning, exploration and self discovery.
I had been photographing in a local greenhouse for several weeks, it was a family business and they were kind enough to give me free access to the entire operation. One day I discovered this small workshop but I was unable to find the lights, and so I improvised. I had a penlight and by using a long exposure and outlining each wrench with the light, I was able to create this image. I also burned down the detail in the background so it would not compete with the wrenches for attention, and with dodging and burning increased the contrast and brightness on the wrenches.
This image showed my preference for dark images and high contrast, a style I still love and frequently use. But remember that a style or technique cannot replace vision, but once you’ve found your vision you can use it to drive your style and techniques.