Monthly Archives: July 2012
If you shoot in RAW format (unprocessed image data) like I do most of the time you have to touch every single image again later in post. Often this is just getting groups of images with similar color, contrast ratio, and exposure, and batch processing them using a tool in Photoshop. It does make for a much longer post production process, but I think it yields much more consistent and better results.
Unfortunately for my ego, this photo was not the result of careful shot selection and meticulous editing, but rather, if I remember correctly, an incredibly lucky shot captured in full auto mode in jpg format. Too bruise my ego even more; I didn’t even notice that my camera had somehow been switched to auto and jpg. It is an easy thing that can happen with the turn of a dial, and I remember wondering why my camera would choose this moment to start misbehaving and being all stupid.
By the time I had figured out what was going on the wondrous and evanescent weather moment had passed and I was sure that I had miss it completely. Not so. As it turns out my camera is pretty decent as a photographer and barely needed me in order to take great photos.
This all happened more than five years ago, and I had pretty much forgotten about it. But, then I found this image on my HD, and thanks to our wondrous technology, all the metadata that had been embedded when the image was created. Metadata is all the information about and image such and camera model, lens model, focal length, etc. This stuff is great for many reasons, but in this case it was a great memory jogger.
As I write this I am deciding what size and type of print of this image to buy and hopefully sell. I am pretty sure that when the print arrives, it will look spectacular and I will be very happy with it. I also know that what this image means/speaks/inspires to me is going to be very different from others who view it. I will always look at this photo and chuckle and be amused that something so cool was so accidental. Perhaps I should modify it in some way to express that viewpoint and make it part of the “art.” hmm, I may have just talked myself into that…looks like I will be ruining another perfectly good photo with “art”
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Another nice sunset…I
Here is an interesting example of exposure mixing that takes the image a little farther than simple HDR. With a normal HDR you use multiple exposures to capture the entire dynamic range of a scene. In this image I did that as well as get exposures at specific shutter speeds to capture the water in different states of motion.
When you are close to the shore there are two different views of the water. The shallow areas, where, if shallow enough, you can often clearly see the bottom, and the deeper areas that tend to reflect the sky. It can be hard to capture both these areas with a single frame. I opted to use shutter speed in combination with HDR the show both end of the spectrum. A short shutter speed to freeze the water so I could see through it to the bottom. A longer shutter speed to allow the current to blur the surface of the water and give it that glassy reflective nature. I have the detail heavy, sky, so I didn’t really want to have detail in the reflection of the sky in the water. This is good because using the long shutter also made the reflection blurry and painterly.
I then combined these two image sequences and did allot of manual blending so that the right areas were sharp and the others blurry. I have not quite finished blending, but for the purposes of this blog it was good enough.
Overall with this image I was just trying to put a little different spin on your good old sunset shot. Also, I am once again employing the ideal that an image with some surreal elements often is more descriptive than a direct copy of a scene.
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every time I look at this image I think of the original Halloween movie from 1978. I know that’s a very odd association, but it has to do with the composition of this image. Halloween was one of the first films to effectively use the scary POV shots where the audience thinks they are seeing the victims from a scary vantage point in the bushes or around a corner. It is a pretty simple technique, just have an “out of focus” foreground element and throw the horizon line off in an odd direction. Done, evil villain created.
Now that I’ve explained the idea look at this image again, only this time imagine that you know there is someone in that boat innocently sleeping. Now imagine that you have a pretty good idea that someone is out to get that person. The photo takes on a whole different meaning when viewed from this perspective. The foreground elements and the tilt give this image a voyeuristic feel that we often associate with foreboding.
Granted, I did quite a bit of leading, but I would still bet you that your perspective on this image is different permanently.
Film and TV have had an indelible effect on the way our brains work(unbelievable conjecture). We see conventions in films and although we know they are not real, I think there may be some deep primitive part of the brain that does not recognize this. Not sure if this fact makes a difference as the conscious areas of the brain seem to run things for the most part. But I find it hard to believe that some reptilian part of the us doesn’t see films and shows and file them right alongside other memories, memories that the conscious mind would deem “real.” In fact there seems to be significant evidence that the brain uses the very structures employed in perception to simulate our memories. I would suspect that, say, the optic nerve, used in remembering/simulating images, is not also charged with delineating “real” from artificial. This, I would imagine, must be a “thinking” function and that does leave the possibility that memories exist in the brain separate from the designation “reality.”
All this is more or less conjecture of course, my own musings, but that’s what this blog is for. I have decided to no longer apologize for the rambling nature of this blog as it’s about my artistic process and this rambling, tangential style is fundamental to my personality(as anyone who knows me has probably been forced to endure).
Thanks for reading!!!!