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Photo story 2

Stairway-to-Heaven©Jim Williams

In the second of a series of articles by members of the Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society, Jim Williams tells the story behind this image taken on his way home from work

This picture may be nothing special to most photographers, but to me it was a milestone breakthrough, realising I had recognised the possibility of getting this shot.

I have been a regular member of Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society for just under three years but still consider myself a novice when I compare myself to other members I admire. Some people just have the knack of finding the right angle to make an average image great. I often wonder how they see what I don’t and whether you can teach someone creativity or if it’s something you just have or you don’t.

I must say, since joining Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society, I have started to continually look at my surroundings to see if there is a potential photograph within my sights. I now look skyward as much as down and left or right.

Leaving my office in Fitzrovia at 4.30pm daily, and walking the same route to Tottenham Court Road Tube station, I noticed this facade in Percy Street showing a reflection of a few clouds with the staircase visible through the glazing. I immediately realised that with the right weather conditions the staircase would look like it was passing through the clouds. Camera in hand every afternoon I left work, my journey down Percy Street was finally rewarded with ideal conditions – a very bright sunny afternoon with plenty of fluffy clouds in the sky. This gave a great reflection with the staircase clearly visible.

A bit of teasing with the Detail Extractor Filter from the Nik Collection bolt-on to Photoshop gave me an image that achieved first place in a club competition. A pleasing result, but not as pleasurable as knowing I had imagined the picture before I had actually seen it.

To find out more about the Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society – which meets weekly at Wanstead House – visit wnstd.com/wwps
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Jim Williams