Random Sights and Diversions

Photography Media Reviews Commentary

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Egret – One Four Challenge Two September

Egret - 2. Week Two of One Four Challenge . Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Egret – 2. Week Two of One Four Challenge . Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

This is week 2 (September) of the One Four Challenge. The One Four Challenge was initiated and is hosted by Robyn K at Captivate Me. Working from one selected image for the month, we produce four different edits on four successive weeks. It’s a great exercise in image editing, and also a good way to develop the knack of seeing an image different ways.

A process sometimes called the Orton efect – after the photographer who invented it – combines (usually) two images, one of which is sharp and one of which is slightly blurred. Many third-party programs and apps that do digital effects implement versions of this to produce a more “painterly” result. But it can easily be done in Photoshop. A step by step guide is described here.

I have wanted to play with the Orton effect and this seemed like a good image to work with. I also did a couple of other things. After the Orton process, I found that the egret had again faded somewhat. So the egret was selected and brightness and saturation increased. Finally, in Photoshop, I removed the automobile that was in the upper right.

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Egret – One Four Challenge One Sept

Egret - 1. Week One of One Four Challenge. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Egret – 1. Week One of One Four Challenge. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

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I’m re-entering the One Four Challenge after a hiatus of a few months. The One Four Challenge was launched by Robyn K at Captivate Me, and Robyn continues to ably host and manage it. Working with an image selected at the start of the month, on four successive weeks we produce four distinct edits. This a great exercise in editing and in looking at images many different ways. Join us!

This image of the egret was first posted here back on May 12. The image was shot at Bruce Park in Greenwich. I’ll consider this the first iteration this month. I have tried to enhance the egret – startlingly white! – while still retaining natural colors. I’ve also cleaned up some weird lines that appeared in the original.

This is an iPhone shot. I used the 645Pro app on an iPhone 6+. The image was at ISO 32,4.15mm effective focal length, 1/480 sec at f/2.2.

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New York City from Greenwich Point

New York City from Greenwich Point. Nikon D200. 200 mm (300 mm equivalent 35 mm), ISO 200. 1/60 sec at f/22. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

New York City from Greenwich Point. Nikon D200. 200 mm (300 mm equivalent 35 mm), ISO 200. 1/60 sec at f/22. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

This the New York skyline from the east side, viewed from Greenwich Point in Connecticut on the Long Island Sound. The tallest building, just left of center, is the recently completed Freedom Tower which replaced the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. The next tallest, the right, is the Empire State Building.

An earlier version of this photograph, with little postcapture processing, was posted a while back, see here. I’ve now a lot more processing which I think improves the image quite a bit. This was shot from Greenwich Point on an exceedingly cold day. The sun sparkling on the waters of the Sound contrasts with the gently textured sky, the dramatic skyline in between. It’s one of my favorite images of the last year or so.

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Light and Shadow: Selected Works 2012-2014

Light and Shadow: A collection of selected works in black-and-white from 2012-2014 at Joanne Mason Photography.

Grand Canyon from South Rim

Grand Canyon from South Rim (Copyright 2014 Joanne Mason. All Rights Reserved)

For the last year or so, I’m been working increasingly in black and white, both shooting for black and white and also working on developing and refining techniques for processing black and white images with a certain look and style. Black-and-white photography is the art of capturing and manipulating the interplay of light and shadow. It is a realm of contrast, of pattern and depth and texture, where light and shadow yield to each other deeper resonances in the eye of the imagination. Shadows and light are found everywhere in the natural and synthetic world. I’m looking to create images that are enhanced by this interplay of light and dark. These are images with lots of contrast and also lots of (usually) sharp detail, images in which the shadows reveal as much as they obscure.

Rocks (Copyright 2014 Joanne Mason. All Rights Reserved)

Rocks (Copyright 2014 Joanne Mason. All Rights Reserved)

This is a collection of selected photographs created from 2012 to the present, consisting of landscapes, natural scenes, and architectural images. This collection represents my recent work in black-and-white image-making. (View the complete portfolio as a slide show. [Allow time to load.])

Camelia (Copyright 2014 Joanne Mason. All Rights Reserved)

Camelia (Copyright 2014 Joanne Mason. All Rights Reserved)

Equipment: Nikon D200 and various lenses (usually Nikon 105mm Macro, Nikon 12-14mm zoom, Nikon 17-55mm zoom, or Nikon 70-200mm zoom); and Fuji X100 with fixed 23mm lens. Images are processed with Lightroom and Nik SilverEffex and other software tools.

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Mirror House in Autumn

GlassHouse1

I find these images of this glass house fascinating and compelling from many different perspectives. There are so many multiple layers of illusion at work here! This small (about 3 ft tall) glass house is constructed entirely from shards of broken mirrors. It’s the work of June Ahrens – “Our Shrinking World’’. This is currently installed at the Silvermine Art Center in New Canaan, Connecticut. (Click images for larger.)

GlassHouse2

Viewed from a distance, the house is nearly invisible. Closer, it becomes shiny and glimmering, inviting and attractive. On even closer examination, the glass shards are jagged and sharp, the house looks more ominous and certainly dangerous to touch. (Would that we could enter!)

GlassHouse3

We’re used to constructions of houses in clear glass, and in such works what is compelling is the way boundaries between inside and outside are distorted, as inside comes out and outside goes in. In Ahren’s work, that dynamic is altered fundamentally. There is no inside. What we expect to find of an inside is actually the outside reflected back to us.

GlassHouse4

The dynamic is further emphasized, I think, by the surroundings, as the construction reflects the autumn leaves on the ground, green foliage and blue sky above. Yet even our view of the environment is distorted by the mirrors.

GlassHouse5

Technical: Shot with 17-55 mm lens on Nikon D200. ISO 400. All at f/8 with shutter speeds around 1/125 sec to 1/200 sec.  Minimal or no postprocessing.

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Fall Scene, New Canaan

Fall Pond Scene. Nikon D200. 38 mm. ISO 400. 1/500 sec at f/8. October 2013. Copyright Joanne Mason 2013.

Fall Pond Scene. Nikon D200. 38 mm. ISO 400. 1/500 sec at f/8. October 2013. Copyright Joanne Mason 2013.

Here is another nice Fall woods scene. This is in New Canaan, Connecticut. (Click image for larger.)

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