Recent Posts on iSIghting: iSighting
The best-laid plans can go awry. It happens to all of us from time to time. You set off to go somewhere, maybe an hour’s drive away, may be further afield for a photo shoot. It may be a place you’ve been to before and you have some particular images in mind to re-shoot or […]
Do chances come your way? When was the last time you had a chance to take an unusual image and you missed it? Do you recognize chance, photographically speaking? Most of us like to exist in our comfort zones in many walks of life – we are risk averse. Risk is dangerous – things can […]
It is said that the camera never lies. In fact it can tell a cruel version of the truth all too clearly – think of all those images you will have seen of politicians, celebrities or other prominent people papped at their worst: asleep inappropriately, yawning, having a bad hair day, eating a bacon sandwich […]
I must start with an apology as it is now a few weeks since I last wrote an entry on this blog. The truth is that I have been acquiring new images at a frantic pace, and that makes the title of this post particularly relevant. Every time you go out and capture a few […]
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I’m not usually someone who likes to include people in images taken of the great outdoors. But there are always exceptions. People sometimes provide a sense of scale – important in mountainous country when the vastness of the landscape can only be appreciated if it is contrasted by the smallness of mankind walking within that ‘scape.
Images of paths can benefit from a figure or two to provide a focus of interest, and whenever I see a ridge or a horizon with a sky beyond I’m prepared to wait for someone to come into view. And that’s where life can get difficult as was the case with acquiring (or more accurately I should say ‘creating’) the image above. I spotted this little group of mother, son and family dogs approaching this point and thought they would make an interesting group – I loved the muted colours – as they breasted the ridge. The camera’s data shows I shot three images within a three-second time-frame. The window of opportunity was that narrow. It was simply shoot and hope – waiting to catch the ideal relationship at the crest of the ridge was a recipe for a missed opportunity.
Back home it was clear there was no ‘right’ shot – they were all ‘misses’. One out of the three elements was OK in each shot, the other two elements were not. I was about to hit Delete when I thought: the background is just about identical, why don’t I try assembling an image by combining the best elements of the three original images: mother from one, dogs from another, and child from the third. And that is what I did as you see in the image above – Clone tool to the rescue once again.
The three original images are in the gallery below, click on the first and navigate through. Then look at the final image at the top of this Post again. The lesson from this experience is that faced with a shot of people on the move (over whom you have no control), take more than one image. So often an image is ruined by something as simple as an odd-angled arm, an awkward leg, or a turned head. The more I use Photoshop the more impressed I am with the potential of the Clone tool to help me to rescue images that a few years ago I would never have thought could be rescued.
‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’ is a well-known phrase. Probably we’ve all used it – most likely to a child who has yet to understand that there isn’t a never-ending supply of money to buy whatever they would like.
This tree suggests that just occasionally money really does grow on trees. This is a fallen tree at Aira Force, a popular tourist destination in the Lake District. I have no idea for how long visitors have been hammering coins into this trunk with a readily available piece of rock, but once the craze catches on it’s hard to pass this spot without searching one’s pockets to find a coin to add to the monetary value of the tree.
This is the bar of a hotel we stayed in earlier this year. It certainly appealed to me visually: there was a hint of Art Deco to its sweeping curves and the way it lit up in the evening.And it worked surprisingly well in B&W when I solarized one of the images I took late one in the evening.
After an exhausting ten days or so, I’ve spent a few days endeavouring to relax. With a little bit of time to kill I inevitably turn to the computer, search through the files, and see if I can spot an image that I can play around with and produce something far removed from the original.
Here’s one that is the product of an hour’s work. The satisfying part of this process is having a vague initial idea and working to see how that idea can translate into an intriguing image and then working to refine it. It helps to have a concept at the back of one’s mind.
Here was the starting point. It’s actually the scenery at the back of the stage of a theatre production of ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ that we saw recently at The Barbican Theatre in London. An excellent production incidentally, and both my wife and I have been re-reading the book.
It’s an image that is all about line and light and shade. The image was stretched into a long thin letter box image by repeating it horizontally (think four stripes of wallpaper). Then manipulating the image with Photoshop’s Distortion filters: Polar Co-ordinates, Radial Blur, and Twirl.
And then it’s all down to what you see: A Worm Hole, a Black Hole, a scene reminiscent of the movie 2001 – A Space Odyssey, or something entirely different?
This sculpture in Cavendish Square, London titled Solo 11 by Naomi Press is one such object that always captures – demands – my attention.
It was placed here in 2012 as part of the build up to the London Olympics and the impression given by the Press Release at the time was that it would be a temporary feature in this square. Three years later I am delighted to see that it remains in place. The reflectivity of the steel yields a constantly changing surreal vision of its surroundings, influenced by the time of the day, and the light.
If you are in London and have a few minutes to spare, check this square out – it’s only five minutes walk from Oxford Circus.