Sunday, April 18, 2010

Transforming the Mundane

There are interesting images all around us and there are many ways we can create them. We make lots of choices before we push the shutter button that have a great influence on how interesting our photos are; composition, lighting, lens choice, camera position, etc. I have talked about all of those before.

Today I want to focus on another area where you can exercise you creativity. This applies to photography as art where we have the freedom to manipulate our imagery anyway we want, which is very different from an editorial or journalistic endevour where the rules are much more stringent.

One a recent photo walk with my photo pal Ashok, we explored the Distillery District in downtown T.O. There is this interesting sculpture that is prominently feature in the main square. I took this non-descript shot of some of the detail, knowing that I would do something to finish the image later.

1/6400 f/2.8 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 73 mm Canon EOS 40D

 Unfortunately I can't tell you exactly what I did, because I managed to delete the edit history from Lightroom. But generally I did four things, which didn't take very long at all.
  1. Added a green colour gradient from the right
  2. Added a red colour gradient from the left 
  3. Cropped and slightly rotated to focus in on the pattern
  4. Burned the bottom right corner to simplify it

1/6400 f/2.8 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 73 mm Canon EOS 40D
Distillery District,Toronto,Ontario

I very much like the result, whether you do or not, it is more interesting that the original, yes?

Today's assignment: Pick a boring picture from your library and make it interesting.

Advanced assignment: Create a concept of an image that you can only make by doing something unusal in a photo editor. Go out and shoot the image and then edit it to create what you conceived.
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