A striking, unique landscape takes the win in the fourth round of our #WexMondays Twitter competition. We interview Ashley Groom about this incredible shot
Image by Ashley Groom
A fantastic, well-deserved winner of our weekly #WexMondays competition on Twitter, this image wowed the judges, representing a feat of timing, composition and editing alike.
Photographer Ashley Groom, also known as @Groomsickle on Twitter, was the talent behind this image, and scoops the points for the image. We wanted to learn more about how this shot came together, so we got in touch with Ashley to find out...
Wex Photo Video: Congratulations on a fantastic winning shot! Can you tell us when and where you captured it?
Ashley Groom: So I got this shot in Hull under the magnificent Humber bridge on route home from the beach. I timed it so I’d catch the setting sun.
WPV: What were the main challenges of grabbing this shot?
AG: The wind! It was so strong and cold, I couldn’t stop the tripod from wobbling while doing a long exposure. I managed to balance it on the floor and then use my camera bag as a windbreaker.
WPV: What kit were you using when you snapped it?
AG: Sony a7 III and 24-70mm G Master. That’s the good bit – now the embarrassing bit. I used the cheapest 10-stop filter and an Amazon Basics tripod with two and a half legs. Yes, I will be upgrading those soon.
WPV: What post-processing (if any) did you do on the image?
AG: So this is the bit I never know where the line is between art and photography. I did a big edit. The light on the underside of the bridge is bright and sharp because it’s a shot with the sun low on the horizon. I love being creative while editing in Lightroom. And changing colours, using the radial and gradual filters, can really change a lot. So killing the blues and lowering their luminosity can give you more of a night look, then adding the blues later with split toning enhances the look even more. Using the grad filters and darkening the foreground helps to keep that look consistent.
At this point, what you could see on the horizon didn’t look good, so I used radial filters to soften and dehaze it away, also producing a foggy look. The foreground had the rocks rising from left to right, covering the shoreline on the right hand side. So I used Photoshop to copy the left side of the shoreline and flip it across to the right to keep it even.
WPV: How long have you been taking photographs? What do you enjoy most about it?
AG: I always loved photography, but it wasn’t until about 18 months ago when my job changed to a four-on, four-off contract, giving me time to learn photography and focus on something I love. And since then, I've been improving at such a fast rate.
What I love most about photography is a really tricky one for me. I love a lot of things about it. I love being able to get a feeling across when I’m so rubbish with words. I love following other photographers’ journeys, and I love the way it brings everyone closer together.
WPV: Do you have your next #WexMondays image planned?
AG: Of course I do. After speaking to this year’s winner Andi Campbell at the awards a while ago, he filled me with inspiration, and this year I’m going to try my very best to not miss a week.
Want to be the winner of our next #WexMondays competition? Head here for all the rules and everything you need to know to enter. See you next week!