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Adventure (Two Photographs)

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The weather turned, the snow melted; the mud and flooding were obstacles but double-digit temperatures made all the difference. Like every year when the weather breaks new opportunities arise. There are all the things about my camera I forgot, plus the added excitement of seeing new things but not knowing quite what they will be. For me these are some of the elementst that makes photography both a challenge and an adventure. (Unfortunately shortly after this the incessant rains and flooding began).

Modern (Two Photographs)

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Two things about modern cities: they are always under construction and there is no end to leading lines. The first photograph is of the main post office building in downtown Ottawa. It was constructed in 1939 and is now undergoing renovations, like most of the better spots in Ottawa in honor of the 150th anniversary of Canada. The second photo taken a few blocks away is of a new condo/hotel hybrid only just completed. Leading lines are most often used to draw the viewer’s eye to a subject. They can come from any direction. What I think is lost in discussion about photographic elements like leading lines, is that geometric patterns in and of themselves are interesting. They may lead nowhere and leave the viewer with questions, or they can lead to a definite object deserving of attention. Both can work creatively to make an interesting photo.

Egret in Black and White – Luminosity Masks (Two Photographs)

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To get white objects white we often have to under expose to get detail. I wanted to take that a step further and make the Egret really stand out. I used two different kinds of luminosity masks: Greg Benz’s Lumenzia and a luminous mask in Tonality Pro (the Mac only black and white conversion software). My aim was to see the results of really darkening the background while maintaining some detail and at the same time pulling out as much of the detail as I could in the Egret. An interesting experiment that I can build on with other shots but probably not to this degree.

American Widgeon in Black and White (Two Photographs)

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I wanted to separate the black and white from the color versions I posted two days ago. The B&Ws are very different pictures; not a lot of work involved in the processing; choosing a color filter and addressing contrast issues. These photos speak for themselves and in a different way than the color versions. I am not choosing between them, I chose the original shots with the four versions in mind. I have tried to figure out why there is a loss of contrast when some B&W photos are turned into SRGB JPGs, this is something I need to work on.

Texture (Two Photographs)

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In photo composites one of the elements often used is texture. Texture overlays are popular in photography. You add a layer of some texture: clouds, fabric, sand, and then fade it into the picture to give added texture. Another method is to work with detail extraction, tonality and HDR toning to get existing textures in the photograph to stand out. Almost every add-in program has some form of structure, detail, and tonal contrast tool to affect these changes. It can lead to a grungy look, or give a photo a more realistic look. With the photo of the hydrant I used detail and tonal extraction and with the Canadian flag photo I added in some HDR toning. I finalized the images in B&W, because detail and texture are more evident in B&W. It’s a technique I have used often when I felt the texture of a scene was important or essential to its character.

American Widgeon (Two Photographs)

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These beautiful ducks are one of the more impressive varieties in the park I visit. They tend to attract photographers and an audience does not concern them. One thing I have noticed about ducks is that while it would be nice to get down at eye level with them, and some people do this, it changes the nature and color of the water. Moreover, the lightest parts of the duck tend to get blown out by the natural light; just a slight angle gives a far better perspective on them. Given the detail they are just as nice in black and white, but that’s for another day.

Street Photography (Two Photographs)

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This could be a public service message about when to and when not to use a smart phone, however the man was crossing on a green light. Street photography is hard to explain and define in my view. It’s often defined as candid photography of people in public places, usually in black and white. On my SmugMug website I have used the term to capture street art, markets etc.; the architecture of the street as well as people. I know it’s a stretch and I may be convinced to change it. It is certainly easier to take street art and storefront reflections than photographs of people you don’t know. I’m getting my courage back and I will see where that takes me.

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