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Striking a chord with the viewer is fundamental. We love to discover, and we want to be stimulated. Our minds take pleasure in finding connections and noticing things that are not immediately obvious. Being too obvious in an image is a far greater sin than being obscure, because it insults everyone’s intelligence. A full-frontal, baldly self-evident image that has nothing to accompany the first glance, is hardly worth our while looking at, and certainly not for enjoyment. And finally, among all these layers of experience and viewing, there is the unexpected and the unanticipated. In case all of the above gives the impression that all successful photography is well thought through from the start, many of the most stimulating photographs contain a little magic. This may be something that even the photographer was unaware of at the start. Looking through the contact sheets later – or the screen catalog nowadays with digital – the photographer may discover something about one frame that surprises, makes it special. —Michael Freeman
Well done to everyone that entered the editing challenge. It's been great to see how you've all made the image your own. Editing is an important step in the process, but it isn't time consuming when you have a solid starting point i.e. an image with the correct exposure and a pleasing composition. Focus on taking good pictures, not trying to edit your way out of bad ones
Editing challenge: I've shared a link in my bio to the original RAW & JPEG files for this photo. Share your results on Instagram and tag me so I can see your version. The only thing I ask is that you don't claim this image as your own or distribute it on other websites/platforms. You have 24hrs - happy editing!