Spend five minutes looking through this site and you will see that I love umbrellas, I always have even before I picked up a camera. The photo above would seem to really hit my mark on enjoyable photos. It is in a historic place, plenty for the viewer to look at, wonderful hint of mystery in the fog and the shot stopper...the lady with the red umbrella.
This photo was photoshopped. The lady was there that day, she walked this very same path. She was walking with her husband and son. The umbrella was red and she was using it. The problem is that I, as the photographer, missed the shot. I had shot the tunnel and path properly (see image below). I then saw the family and worked to capture the umbrella.
The problem is that I was so excited to get a bright red umbrella that I forgot about composition. The image I did get is below. These days I can open up both in Photoshop and combine the images into the picture I should have caught.
All images were shot in the same place on the same day (just a few minutes from each other) but on one I considered composition while on the next I lost the plot. Some would argue that there is nothing wrong with what I did. Since I was the author of both images it is perfectly acceptable to do what I did.
My problem is that this image above reflects a better photographer than I am. If I was happy with the image, I would not be mad at myself and I would not improve. Photographers are not looking for a pretty picture, they are looking for the mixture of ability and the decisive moment. The image above is not a reflection of my ability as a photographer or a decisive moment caught on camera.
I used Photoshop and use it along with Lightroom. I do not have an issue burning, dodging, removing spots (I should clean my sensor) and adjust exposure, sharpness and the like. What I do not like to do is remove things from the scene, add things and I am careful with alterations of color. I want an honest interpretation of the colors I saw at the time.
The image above is a reflection of 10 minutes on YouTube and 5 minutes on Photoshop. This does not demonstrate the skill set I am trying to develop. So when I look at this image I am disappointed in my lack of concentration.
Interestingly I would have no issue with someone getting a model and arranging the shot. This would show prior thought process, careful consideration of what was needed and visualization of how the shot was captured. But to artificially build it from different composites is not the photography I am interested in.
So this image above will serve as a reminder to the opportunity lost. It will show me the benefits of keeping composition in mind always.