Friday, July 2, 2010

Another Holiday, Another Reflection

There’s another holiday coming up here in the United States. It’s a time to honor, not the sunshine patriot (even though the marchers in today’s image were definitely in sunshine), but the “real” patriots. Not those who keep their mouths shut and just drift along, but those willing to put deeds behind their words. I said those words during the Vietnam era and they are the same words said by today’s young men and women going to the defense of our nation. The first oath used in what would become the United States of America predates the actual country and would have been taken by the men depicted in today’s image. It was a part of the act creating the Continental Army and voted into law by the Continental Congress in 1775. There is a line, misattributed to the Frenchman Voltaire, that says: “I disapprove if what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. That’s what it’s all about. Not that we kowtow to “the man” and not that we take up arms against out government but to do what is known as “disagree and commit”. That’s what it was called at Intel during my tenure there. You could bring up your objections in a spirited fashion, but you’d better be prepared with an alternate suggestion. Once the final decision was made it is up to the individual to act in a manner to advance the greater good. This is a great, but flawed country. The trick is that it has fewer flaws than other countries. You can say things here that you’d end up in jail for in other parts of the world. But, this is a photography blog, not a political blog. To find out what was done to today’s image, hit the “read more”.
Today’s image comes from our destination on our vacation of a couple weeks ago. The end of our outward travel was Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. For most of the shots taken there I was very aware of the crowds of tourists and avoided including people in today’s cloths as much as possible. The marchers in today’s image were in the middle of the street, with onlookers lining both sides. Including them couldn’t be helped. So, the first thing was to isolate the marchers from the general scene. This involved using the Quick Selection Tool (W) and the Refine Mask dialog to make a good mask.

Once the mask was made a Motion Blur (Filters/Blur/Motion Blur), set to zero degrees, was added to the copied Layer. Several levels of Blur were tried, form slight to extreme. The final choice was on the high side and resulted in, mainly, reds and blues, which complimented the uniforms of the men.

The final tweak was to desaturate the faces. A mask of only the faces was created and a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer applied. The Saturation was reduced, leaving just enough color in faces to throw the emphasis onto the uniforms. It goes back to the individual being less important than the whole.


Levonne said...

Wow, love the photograph. Great expressions captured there. Come visit when you have a few minutes: Levonne's Pretty Pics and A Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings. Would love to get your comments.