That was a beautiful evening at the nature. Light was glorious. Back-light greenery were shining in the deep shadows. And the photographs came out … dull and flat
Apply or don’t apply an art effects to a photograph?!
I think this question arise all the time. And as always the answer is – It is a matter of a personal choice!
I personally have a set of rules when I do apply it and when don’t
Here is an example of the art processing applied to a photograph. It is obvious that the photograph doesn’t have documentary value, so I bravely applied “finishing”.
On my taste the actual photograph, after the basic color corrections, cleaning and etc. ,still was a bit dull and flat. The light was not communicating the glory of that evening. Greenery wasn’t shining and the light on the actual subject and surrounding became even.
The goal of the art post-processing was to increase glow in the greenery, but in a way that it wouldn’t be destructive, focus viewer on the main subject and may be to add a bit of drama.
Please, be a judge!
I will be glad to here from you which version do you prefer what do your thoughts are on the topic. Please, comment bellow!
Courtyard of the ancient castle is especially pleasing on the evening after the sunset. The noisy tourist groups, accompanied by guides in a hurry, left it already and slow passage of time came back inside the ancient walls.
Many friends told me that they filling presence in the courtyard when they are looking at the picture. They asked me how I created this filling and which post processing have I used. I have to say, at the begging, that this photo is not a composite or HDR and I didn’t use any advanced post processing in this case…
I have spent multiple evenings to catching the right image. Under the right I mean the picture how I was imaging it and how I would like it to be, so it would communicate my filling from the place. My eye was caught by the color contrast of warm yellows and cold blues. So it became obvious that picture must be composed around that. To increase depth I found a place where my foreground would be darker than main scene. I also blurred the nearby background on the right so it would be as our eye expects. That forces the eye to travel from the corner up to the mild ground where the ivy is brighter and sharper. On the left, there is a repetition patter of columns from the side to the middle. This receding pattern just confirms the filling from the right side. Bluish-ness of the pavement beneath and foreground on the right side is in contrast with warm yellow openings of the gallery on the left. I think that also stretches the space. When our eye reaches the portal there is again play of shadows and lights which creates extra depth. There is another element which forced me to spend one more evening catching the right moment… It is the sky which you can see behind the portal and tree silhouettes. I would like them to be exactly as it is depicted here and that brought an issue, either the sky was too dark on the moment when external lights balanced with embedded light or lights were coming later than I need it, but finally I succeed…
I have a strong feeling of accomplishment and excitement in such cases when everything goes as I anticipated and planned it to be 🙂
P.S. The look of the courtyard was changed shortly after the shot has been taken. Framing tree was totally cut off. The wall was cleaned from the ivy. So, it recalls world known phrase – “You could not step twice into the same river.” (Heraclitus)
Notre Dame de Paris is a famous cathedral known by many since child hood through world know literature. One is definitely going to visit it once in Paris, it is a must see. I couldn’t resist to spent one evening on the Siene embankment, waiting for the sunset light during my visits to Paris. Sunsets are especially beautiful at Autumn in Paris, before or after the rain.
You can buy print of this photograph on many materials (fabric, canvas, metal and etc.) here:
The story of Soaring Cupola photograph begins in 2009. That year I was spending my vacation in a beautiful Italian capital – Rome. Late at night as we were walking from Saint Angelo castle (Castel Sant’Angelo) in the darkness I was stunned by the beautiful view of the bridge and azur cupola of St. Peter’s basilica floating above the Tiber river. I could not resist and took a picture. The Rome nights in March chilly and I managed to take just a couple of shots before the wind pierced me. (You can notice the wind even on a long exposure photographs below.)
Since then I was planning to retake this shot in a more appropriate time to eliminate dark areas and high contrast.
5 years later in 2014 I finally found time to retake it. I came to the place to find that this composition doesn’t really work for me, doesn’t communicate my filling of the place. The sense of the depth was lost and there were some distracting elements. I found a new position which I liked more and started to wait for the perfect light, but that day light show was happening above my head – not above the selected subject. So I had to wait longer. When the lights were switched on clouds start organizing to an interesting structure. I was hopping that one of the clouds will emphasize structure of the cupola and this did happen. I like how background clouds are separated behind the cupola on the final shot.
I spent around 1.5 hour in my ambush on the bridge, talking with tourists and Pakistani guys selling souvenirs. I had a nice time patiently waiting for the shot.
You can buy a print here or contact me if you are interested in photo modification/raw format.