Sunday, 12 February 2012

Trimming The Whiskers.

Yesterday's post "Frosty Whiskers" featured mainly straight photos, which is to say that I hadn't fiddled about editing them. Well, not much anyway! I could get involved in all kinds of photographic,  philosophical and artistic arguments here, but instead of waffling on while your eyes glaze over lets look at some other photos, also taken yesterday, which I felt needed a bit of extra enhancement, manipulation, mutilation.

This little bridge is on the footpath behind the church has always attracted me. With the snow it made me say "Wow, look at this!" which is about as intellectual as I get before reaching for the camera....

....but when I looked at the picture on the computer screen it wasn't what I'd expected; the snow was dirty and the other colours were mostly various muddy shades of khaki. It didn't look like that at the time; my brain had filtered out the detail it didn't want to see; what I'd observed wasn't the reality but the difference between the usual scene and the changes caused by the snow. Black and white and a little extra contrast cured the problem.

A photo of the church tower seen through the frosted branches posed similar questions....

....but changing to straight monochrome still didn't have the frosty, delicate feeling I was seeking. This blue tint gave what I think is a pleasing image even if the composition is odd or perhaps even wrong.

The weeping willow took all sorts of jiggery-pokery before I was satisfied....

....there's some added flare, extra contrast, subtle vignetting as well as changing to black and white (and lots of dead ends which led me nowhere).

I've always loved the photos of people like Bill Brandt who made a virtue of the grain of the film and contrasty materials. I like the idea of trying the same thing in colour. So I knew what I wanted to do with this picture before I even pressed the shutter....

....gritty and murky. That's what I was after.

These posts and stones are left stranded in an arable field. I take lots of photos here and even toyed with the idea of a blog post about a post! I took a few more yesterday....

....and another...

....this proud old post reminds me of the rather stiff, formal portraits of yesteryear. Hence the treatment.

It was a misty day with sun breaking through, occasionally lighting up objects and bringing them into sharp focus....

....never say 'never', but I usually only use soft focus on selected parts of a picture; my eye needs a secure place to anchor itself. The blue tint emphasises the cold conditions, I think.

Every now and then I need a dose of cold, hard reality....

....though actually there's a lot more tidying up, sharpening and other tweaking than in some of the earlier shots.

And finally....

....heaven knows where I was going with this one! It's just some frosted chicken wire. One of those roads less travelled - and maybe just as well!

Take care.


  1. I really like the post and stones photo but the soft focus one is just gorgeous.

  2. I especially like the cemetery shot... so moody! I got a kick out of your comment this morning on my blog 'You mean you “paused occasionally on the ascent to admire the breathtaking views”... sure that would be correct!! lol...

  3. It's fun to play and these have turned out well - I especially like the blue-toned Christmas card scene 3rd from bottom. The one above that, the fence post, appears to be well equipped with a sword at the ready..

  4. Your "Wow, look at this!" comment made me laugh. It did make for a beautiful photographic moment though. How crispy under your feet? Just sometimes, INVERT too, will do magical things to your photos when light and exposure has been an issue. A step further and adjusting the HUE/SATURATION might take it where you say “Wow, look at this!”. A lovely assortment, my favourite, third from bottom "misty day"; and a blog post on a post, why not?

  5. I like the nostalgic warmth of the reddish images. The pole or pull the graveyard in the eye. Your edits are really well. I began to decorate pictures with frame and watermarks, when I noticed that my photos have been downloaded.
    Have a good time

  6. Looks like you were so inspired by the snow. I’d be the same, unfortunately I haven’t seen even dusting of snow except “kaza-hana” (wind-flower), fluffy windblown snowflakes which melt away on touching the ground. I’d say “Wow, look at this!”, too, when I encounter the scene like the first image, it’s so fascinating. Cemetery's atmosphere is nicely captured.


  7. These are all cool creations John. I'm am admirer of Bill Brandt too... especially his dark moody cityscapes. Have a wonderful day, and many more fun times with your camera!

  8. Magic in these photos!

    I'd LOVE to read what you think about photo manipulation, but I think I already know. I too think there's a place for both straight-out-of-the-camera and fiddled-with photos.

  9. Thanks for the comments, especially from those who are brave enough to use a second language to do so. Very briefly: photo editing starts with the way we see things - what to photograph, viewpoint, etc. It continues in the camera - focal length, aperture, speed, white balance, colour/BW etc etc. Then I might choose to employ the delete button! So a bit more editing on the laptop is just a cotinuation of the process. I don't really draw any distinction.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'll try to answer any questions via a comment or e-mail within the next day or two (no hard questions, please!).