There are many paths to a photo, some of which may rankle the ‘purist’ photographer in us. Early on, I was very much a purist in that I wanted to minimize the amount of post-processing. However, with the arrival of HDR processing, I expanded my range of experimentation and found it interesting to see how I could express more of a vision in my photography, rather than a representation of what I saw through the lens.
HDR can be very tricky and create some very cool results. Sometimes, I like to take a simpler approach…
This was a rather dreary day with sleet coming down lightly; the pale blue of the canoe stood out in the otherwise muted landscape.
The colors in the photo were already fairly muted, but not enough to get the mood that I wanted to communicate in this image. A simple desaturation of the image and some additional saturation of the blue color of the canoe created the sense of dying color in a winter landscape that I wanted to achieve.
What types of processing do you like to do in your images?
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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28 thoughts on “A Touch of Blue”
I do like selective colour. I also use a bit of vignette to enhance a spot in a photo. Quite often I may reduce the light, add a bit of black to make the subject stand out a bit more or use added highlights to give that bit of added energy to a photo.
There you go……..all my secrets are out lol
I like that approach.
Thank you Frank. It is good to be able to explain what makes a photo for us. A lot of the time it is what I see is what you get, no post processing
I am very much the same way; at least right now. I do like to increase some of the colors though, as it shows more of what I am really seeing.
It’s nice to have the tools to bring out our vision of what is presented through the lens.
Striking blue against the backdrop of whiteness. I am unfamiliar with what there is to offer for free in terms of photoshop since I am just a wanabe photographer.
Thank you very much! The Photoshop package that I subscribe to is the Photographer option, which is $19.99 per month and includes Photoshop and Lightroom (another great tool) for 2 simultaneous devices. It’s an option that is definitely worth the value.
Great results from your editing. Love the blue! Personally, I don’t do much editing but it is not because I am a purist. I just haven’t taken the time to get into photoshop much. It is definitely on my list of things to learn.
Thank you, Irene! It’s a lot of fun to explore and express your vision in images. By and large, I do very minimal adjustments as part of my standard workflow. (I’ll write a post about that at some point).
This is a beautiful photo, Frank. ❤
Thank you kindly, Penny!
I love the way you made the blue stand out and the image tells a real story. I rarely adjust the colours but I love to slightly blur an image to create a softer feel or a sense of movement 🙂
A slight blur can give an almost supernatural feeling
A very lovely picture, Frank. I started out a purist too, but have found I like selective colours, sepia and B&W too. I almost always have to put on some light or take it down. Reduce the shadows a bit too. I have the same programs as you – but Lightroom came along very late, last year in fact. Now I love it.
Thank you for this post. Interesting to hear others on the subject.
Thank you for sharing your approach; getting the mood right in an image is something that can really enhance it.
Yes, and the mood can be tricky to get right. And by “right” I mean the feeling I first had. Sometimes the final picture shows a completely different feeling…and that is the joy too of playing with the tools!
I can relate to that; there’s one image that I held of on processing for about 6 weeks until I was in an appropriately dark mood. It worked 🙂
I like what you have done here very much. I do not do a lot. I sharpen and pull the shadows , whites, blacks ,highlights and add clarity sometimes dehaze and sometimes luminance. I am always photographing horses, usually in competition so there is not so much leeway for editing with an artistic alteration. But you have inspired me and I’m going to play around with something and see what I come up with . Just for myself. Thanks,
I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re going to create!
Early on, I was very much a purist in that I wanted to minimize the amount of post-processing.
I was as well. Perhaps it’s just par for the course of learning in photography. Among some of the Fuji X camera photographers, there is a belief that all images must usable straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) and that JPEG is all that one needs. Somehow, they’ve got it in their heads that real photographers “get it right” in the camera and post-processing (except for the processing the camera does to create the JPEG) is for amateurs. I wonder if they know anything about Ansel Adams?
So very true! Ansel Adams is one of the more famous photo post processors.
And he post processed ALL of his images. He didn’t have Photoshop, he had the dark room and “dodge” and “burn” techniques.
I was a painter for many years and I greatly enjoy the post-processing play with photographs. Wherever my imagination goes I try to follow. I wish I had the time to explore photoshop more, hopefully someday.
Thank you! It’s fun to follow one’s imagination. Hopefully you will get the chance soon!