Saturday, April 9, 2011

Photo Class: Brian, the Friendly Ghost

The theme for this weekend's photo class is: In. I seriously considered doing a picture of an inny bellybutton, but that didn't fly. If Emily's bellybutton were still pierced (and if she were here instead of at a youth retreat), I would definitely take a snap of that.

While sitting in "my chair" (that would be the one with the Wynn Anne's-butt-sized divot in it) this afternoon, I glanced up to see this:
That is the glorious afternoon sun shining IN
and reflecting off our glass-topped dining table on to our living-room ceiling.
Makes me think of PacMan.
Interesting, but not really a photo I'd print or frame. Then I considered being outside, looking in, but on a sunny day, all you get is reflections.
Brian, the Friendly Ghost
The reflection is stronger than the image I was hoping to catch.
Though this is pretty much what I expected.
So far we're zero for two attempts at photographing this theme.
Then I thought about being inside, looking out - especially considering what a gorgeous day we had here. Ottawans come out of the woodwork in weather like this, taking to the trails, the bike paths, and the sidewalks, rolling down their car windows and basking in the sunshine, fresh air and lack of humidity. Bliss.

[Confession: being the lazy gal that I am, I opted for rolling down the car windows. But I have the utmost respect for those of you who got your bodies moving in the great outdoors.]

So, I went to the front hall, where I spied this little [canary? goldfinch? oriole? are orioles even yellow?] looking out the small sidelite by the front door.

This lovely little bird stands sentinel IN our front hall.
She was a hostess gift we received last fall.
f/4, 1/250, ISO/200
And, while in the hall, I captured this:
See: balls IN a bowl.
Oooh. I quite like the play of all those round objects: balls, bowl, beads, swirls in the paint.
As I've mentioned before, I really like organic shapes.
I used one of the perspectives from the day-two e-mail, and as Beth V suggested, I opened the front door to let in as much light as possible. It made an enormous difference.

[Confession: I did intensify the shadows and adjust the "curves" a little on]
[Confession: I have no idea what "curves" even are! In the photography sense, I mean.]
Here is the undoctored photo, SOOC (straight out of the camera).
A decent photo I can work with.
f/3.5, 1/8, ISO/400
But here's what I got with the door closed:
Yucky picture. Yuck, yuckity, yuck.
I didn't even bother trying to do any "fixes" to it.
As my Photoshop instructor said, sometimes a bad picture is just a bad picture.
I feel like I'm kind of cheating on this course because I'm using a point-and-shoot instead of an SLR/manual camera. But I'm still learning lots, and will be able to apply it all when I eventually get the new camera.

However, I don't feel like I'm cheating by using software to make changes to my photos. To me, that is part of the art of creating. Even back in the days of film, a lot of the creative process went on in the darkroom, exposing certain areas of the paper to more light (the origin of the "burn" tool), or using a pen to mask some areas of the print so it has less exposure (i.e., "dodging"). Besides, I'm not good enough to be a purist.

I can't imagine what Monday's theme will be.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, Monday's theme is not hard to guess :) I think it is totally okay to edit-I don't know a single photographer who posts all photos SOOC (straight out of camera). I am doing minimal editing on mine, but still editing!! Glad that the open door trick helped!!


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