Random Sights and Diversions

Photography Media Reviews Commentary

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Improvisation 6

Improvisation 6. Original is a composite. Image digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Improvisation 6. Original is a composite. Image digitally manipulated. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Another image in the continuing Improvisation series.

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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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Week Four – One Four Challenge, January 2015

San Bernardino Mountains IV. For the One Four Challenge, January 2015. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

San Bernardino Mountains IV. For the One Four Challenge, January 2015. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

This is the final image in the January 2015 One Four Challenge. In the One Four Challenge, launched and led by Robyn G, we work with a single image of our choosing over the course of four weeks, developing four distinct edits or post-capture interpretations, published on successive (AU) Mondays. This month’s original and all four weekly images are exhibited below.

I was at somewhat of a loss about how to approach this week’s edit. I don’t know how to do better that last week’s color image which I was more than satisfied with. But the main thing here is to experiment, discover, try different styles and methods. I think we ought to be sure that we have a good sense of play in our art. Play leads to a more uninhibited and spontaneous spirit or exploration and discovery. And it’s also fun.

As I played with the image, I found this style emerging. I imagine it in the style of an intaglio or relief print. Some of the textures are simultaneously downplayed and enhanced (like the grass and bushes in the foreground). Some of the details are left out while other details are more prominent (see those bare branches among the lower branches on the tree). There’s something I find captivating about this image. I hope you’ll give me your comments. Thanks.

 

(Recall that I did two versions of the black-and-white image in Week Two.)

Original photo data: Fuji X100. 23 mm. ISO 400. 1/350 sec at f/11.

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Week Two, Take 2 – One Four Challenge, January, 2015

The remark was made by one commenter about San Bernardino Mountains II (the black-and-white version – Week Two of the One Four Challenge) that it almost had an Ansel Adams look about it. I admire Ansel Adams very much, and if truth be told, I do try to emulate his style and approach at times. I thought I would have another go at this image and see if I could improve on it.

San Bernardino Mountains IIb. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

San Bernardino Mountains IIb. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Basically, I’ve tried to expand the zones by making the blacks darker and whites whiter. This then required some extra adjustments in specific places, most of all the tree trunk because some of the detail there was lost. Here’s version II and version IIb, side-by-side.

I’m not entirely satisfied with the results. The newer version has had so much digital processing done to it that numerous digital artifacts are introduced. This reduces sharpness in many places, adding some halo effects, and adding more noise. This has been run through noise reduction but no other compensation.

What do you think? Comments welcome.

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Ghost Ranch Country IV. One Four Challenge December Week Four

Ghost Ranch Country IV, New Mexico. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Ghost Ranch Country IV, New Mexico. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Here is my final image for December’s One Four Challenge. In the One Four Challenge (Initiated by Robyn G), we choose one image and do four different process edits in four successive weeks. This is the last week of the December cycle.

Starting with the original image, this week’s edit is cropped sharply to a panoramic view (which we’ve decided works best for this image). (Click image for larger – Looks Better.) All of the editing this week is done in Nik Silver Efex Pro, including a few exposure adjustments, the vignetting, and toning. The final image replicates an early film style. The style seeks to emulate the pictorialist style of the early 20th Century Photo Secessionists. (I’ve recently done a series of images in this style.)

Besides giving the scene a kind of “old west” feel, this treatment completely alters all the relationships in the image. No longer are the cliffs the main (or only) point of interest (it seems to me); now the overall fields, the road and the fenceposts converging, make up the main theme.

Love this One Four Challenge! – Great fun!  Here are the original image and all four edits for December. Tell me what you think. Comments definitely welcome!

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Ghost Ranch Country IIIb. One Four Challenge December Week Three

It’s still week three of the One Four Challenge for December. Several people have made very welcome and apt observations about the image framing and the horizon line, and about the sky and it’s relationship to the rest of the image. I agree with all. I love getting feedback! I’ve continued playing with the image, and so here I post an updated version. Speaking for myself, this one is much better.

Ghost Ranch Country IIIb, New Mexico. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Ghost Ranch Country IIIb, New Mexico. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

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