It’s important to take bad pictures. It’s the bad ones that have to do with what you’ve never done before. They can make you recognize something you hadn’t seen in a way that will make you recognize it when you see it again.– Diane Arbus
This week, Tina asks us to post a few images that started out as forgettable, but ended up as favorites. I love this idea because learning the techniques of post processing is an ongoing process and it has helped me rescue photos from the depths of my archives. I’m going to focus on two images, which needed quite a bit of editing.
Flying Point Beach Final Image
Flying Point Beach is one of my favorite images. It reminds me of a wonderful summer visit with our friends John and Joyce out in Southhampton, NY. We went to the beach during the golden hour, so the light was incredible. In this shot, wanted to highlight the golden light against the wooden fence and the beautiful sky, but my original shot on the left was too dark. I experimented with the dodge tool in Photoshop to lighten the sand and then I increased the saturation and contrast to highlight the golden light. At last, I was happy with the final result.
Birds of Paradise Close-Up
Two years ago, we flew to Australia on Fiji Airlines. On the way home, we had the option to adding a layover in Fiji as a way to break up a very long trip. We ended up staying on the islands for several weeks, which gave us a wonderful opportunity to explore Nadi and Savusavu. When we returned home, I opened up my digital files anticipating many beautiful images, but I was sorely disappointed. Many of my photos didn’t do justice to the beauty of the island.
This image of a bird of paradise is an example. In the original shot below on the left, the background detracts from the beauty of the flower. I wanted to focus more on the unusual and delicate shape of the flower, so I cropped the image and then cropped it again. For the final image I cropped the shot again, increased the saturation, and added Nik’s soft blur filter. The final result highlights the water droplets, the beautiful lines and color of the plant and its geometry. Now, at last, I’m happy with the image!
So, circling back to Diane Arbus’ quote at the top of this post, what did I learn from these experiences? Lesson 1: I need to be aware of the balance of light and shadow when taking outdoor images. In the future, I could try using my flash to brighten deeply shadowed areas. Lesson 2: My intention needs to be clear when I am composing a shot. In the case of the birds of paradise, I wanted to focus on the plant, so I should have moved in closer and eliminated the distracting background before clicking the shutter.
We hope you join us this week and share how you used editing to improve your images. Please link your post to Tina’s original post, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.
I really enjoyed your responses to Amy’s “Photography Journey” challenge last week. It was a wonderful way to learn more about you, your cameras, your thoughts about photography, and how your photography has evolved over the years.
We are excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be hosted by the wonderfully creative Sheetal of Sheetal Thinks Aloud. Her challenge begins next Saturday at noon EST.
In closing, a word of thanks for your continued participation, support, enthusiasm, and creativity which continue to inspire us! Have a wonderful, creative week and please stay safe.