From time to time I find myself getting into a processing rut. I tend to process every photo in basically the same way with just a few modifications image to image. For my black and white images, I normally use NIK Silver Efex Pro and add a high contrast, high structure look to the images. I amplify the whites and blacks and add structure. The images look hard and have an abstract feeling as seen in the top image.
This morning I woke up and started on my post. I looked at the hard image that I had processed the day before. Something did not feel right. I tried again doing just the opposite by decreasing contrast and structure. The resultant second image was much more pleasing to me and better represents what my mind recalls seeing.
Lesson Learned: Do not process images in a “production mode” method. Take my time, and process each one to bring out what my eyes and heart see. Like my friend John Barclay, says, “Wait for the image to come to you”, processing should be considered in the same way.