Sky Water

Inverting an image sometimes does more than simply turn an image on its head. Sometimes it introduces a touch of surrealism into the image. And I personally think that is true of this one – but you may think differently of course.

IMG_5001Click on the image to see a larger and higher quality version. It’s well worth it.

This was taken 10 days ago on one of our many walks in Stowe Gardens. Neither of us was feeling particularly bright that day – we had had a worrying and rather exhausting week or two. We finally got out of the house for some fresh air and a change of scene.

My wife had turned back after a shortish walk but I wanted to reach the Palladian Bridge at the end of one of the Lakes. I wasn’t really in the mood for photography and nothing had caught my attention: the landscape felt uninspiring and jaded as it often is in late summer, and my eye just wasn’t seeing. We all have days like that, don’t we?

The views from the bridge were not that special either. But the water lily leaves (no flowers) created a possible image or two with the sky reflected in the water. I shot them half-heartedly and  with no real sense of purpose.

They sat on the camera when I got home until I finally loaded them last weekend. And then, in a better frame of mind, I started to see the possibilities. I flipped the image vertically first and saw what I had in mind. Unfortunately the water was peppered with air bubbles and little bits of dying weed, and so it took over half an hour just to tidy up the image and remove distracting detail. Then the image took a familiar journey through Topaz plug-ins. Firstly a subtle tweak in Clean to smooth out the water, then Adjust and finally Detail.  Worth the work? I like to think so. It’s always good to read your comments, so do let me know your thoughts.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
This entry was posted in Country Houses & Gardens, Eclectica and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Sky Water

  1. Great image Andy, with an other-worldly feel to it.

  2. Fantastic image Andy! It certainly does have a surreal feel to it. 🙂

  3. Wow – I like how the leaves look suspended in the sky!

    By the way, seeing Stowe Gardens was one of the highlights of my trip to England. What a place it was!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you, Melinda. We only live about 20mins drive from Stowe. It’s a great place to visit and the Stowe House is special too. They’ve changed the access point to the gardens in the last year to the far side of the estate (well away from the main house, which is where the school is) and so there is now a rather longer walk to reach the main features of the garden. If you head this way again, let me know. There are some other beautiful gardens to visit not far from here.

      • I’d love a return visit!

        My parents visited England often; after my mom passed away, we took my dad back for what we all knew would be his last trip. He planned it, hitting all their favorite places. We flew into Gatwick, then went in a counterclockwise circle around London, stopping at Canterbury, Cambridge, the Costwolds, and a place near the New Forest. He’s a big fan of the National Trust, and we went to NT properties every day, nearly. Stowe Gardens was my favorite; I also liked the Wimpole Estate (SW of Cambridge).

  4. oneowner says:

    This was definitely worth the extra effort, Andy.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. It’s nice to find that the hard work pays off. There are other occasions when after an hour or so of work, I give up and it goes straight in the Trash and is then deleted, for ever – in case I’m tempted to try again!

  5. seekraz says:

    It’s amazing how “a better frame of mind” can effect so many things, even our consideration of a scene and the resulting photographs. I like what you did with it, Andy….it causes one to pay attention and really “look” at it.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Scott. I’m glad you like the result. Certainly I think one’s ‘frame of mind’ influences the ability to think creatively. But also I do find sometimes that just sitting down quietly and working on an image can have an inspiring effect – assuming of course that the image responds to my work!

  6. Very clever Andy. I really like it inverted. This is one of these rare images that works both ways.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Edith. My daughter did a dissertation on the painter Magritte for part of her final year Degree course, and I’ve always enjoyed the surreal, although this is surrealism at a very minor level compared to what Magritte employed in his work

  7. Phillip says:

    Great shot and a wonderful story Andy!

  8. Awesome image, Andy. This scene would brighten any day. 🙂

  9. I like it. Reminds me of a Japanese print. I love the waterlilies in the water. I can imagine how long it took to remove all of the distractions leaving those lovely leaves! I think you managed beautifully here. You did have me trying to upside down my head though. Chuckle… 🙂
    Magritte has always been a favorite of mine.

  10. ehpem says:

    I thought I had commented on this one – better late than never. This is works so well, it makes the lily pads unfamiliar objects in the sky, and makes me look very closely at something I might have only glanced at otherwise.

    • LensScaper says:

      I enjoy the surreal. I had no intention when I shot it to flip it. But it didn’t take long back home to see the potential to be realized by placing the lily pads in the sky. Many thanks for commenting Ehpem.

Comments are closed.