Photography: An Endless Array of Tools

June 27, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

     Sometimes, a photo perplexes me. I shoot because something seems to be of interest, to have visual potential . . . but when I see it on the large computer screen, it's clear that I've somehow failed to convey the crux of the matter. Or perhaps I've even missed it entirely.

     Other times, a particular image has appeal, but doesn't feel successful.

     And then there are those images that clearly offer further depths of potential. Yes, it works fine as a straightforward image, but I can imagine a variety of renditions, each of which has its own particular appeal.

     My style is primarily editorial and journalistic. My approach is all about capturing the world as it is, perhaps with just a touch of fine tuning. But sometimes it's also fun to play. And today's technology has broadened the play options to a mind-boggling extent.

     Beyond PhotoShop and LightRoom there is a seemingly endless and ever-expanding array of special programs, applets, and plug-ins that allow even the most simple-minded among us to delve into some pretty exciting creative opportunities.

     This is one reason why photography is an endeavor of constant learning. Just as we begin to become familiar with the technologies that make new creative direction possible . . . more new technology emerges. On the one hand, it is exciting and mind boggling. On the other, now that I know how the tricks take place, effects that once impressed me now leave me cold. Yes, the photographer had to decide to apply B&W Grunge Factor Level 2 through Purple Glasses. It worked nicely. Next photo, please.

     Not every disappointing image has the potential to morph into something wonderful with just the help of a bit of techno-play. But some do.

     The image below is an example of such play. These water boxes, which I suspect may be meter boxes, appear at regular intervals through Folsom's Old Town area. They are boring. But the one with the colorful cups on top caught my eye. Is there a little story here?   As viewed on my large computer screen, the answer seemed to be . . . not really. And yet I couldn't quite give it up. Enter Topaz Adjust and Spicify. A little zip, a little punch, and . . . I like it ever so much better.

     Not likely an award winner, but still. An image that was nothing is now at least, a little something.  Such explorations and experimentations are a big part of what makes photography so endlessly fascinating.

 

FolsomWater

    


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