Monday, July 5, 2010

Anybody With A Point N Shoot Could Take This Shoot - Not

I guess I’m still smarting from a comment made by another professional, who I’ve known for thirty plus years. He was a judge at a juried show I enter a couple of pieces in a couple of months back. One of the shots was of a barn I discussed on the gallery back in April. The foreground colors were popped with a subtle HDR effect and the sky replaced with a good looking sky. I grabbed the judge after the juried portion of the show finished and asked why he had killed my print. His response was that it was a shot anyone could take, on a good day, with a point n shoot camera. Now, this guy is a retired professional, commercial photographer. He travels pretty extensively now, carrying his little Nikon point n shoot and does get some incredible images. So, I’ll give him the fact that anyone with his training and eye could get some pretty darn good images, but not any that are half HDR and half straight, combined to make a homogenous image. Cameras are getting pretty slick, with added features such as Extended Dynamic Range and a host of other “effects” built in, but… They just can’t make the creative decisions a person can. Oh well. Today’s image isn’t about sore grapes or anything like that, it’s about shoots that look like they could be made “with a point n shoot on a good day”. Anyone who’s been reading posts here at the gallery probably knows there’s “something” about today’s image that separates it from a straight shot. The flag, displayed on the porch, is actually across the street from the restaurant with the decorative window. The problem is that fact that there is a tree on the green in the middle of the street between the two images. It’s also about fifty yards between the buildings. That makes for a very tricky reflection. To find out more about today’s image, hit the “read more”.
About the window and the wall? The trim on the window isn’t as bright as seen in the image. The colors have been pushed up quite a bit. The wall isn’t as dirty as it appears on the left hand side. The darkness is a result of the vignette put around the image to hold the viewer into the shot. Little things are often the difference between a snapshot and a creative image.

The big deal is the reflection itself. A mask was applied to knock out what the actual reflection in the window. The porch scene was slid in below the window Layer and a nice, crisp shot of the porch/flag could be seen. To make the reflection a little less crisp and Ripple filter and a slight Blur were applied.

If you look you can see some reasonably uniform “highlights” on the cross members of the window. If you look closer, on the lower left you can make out the hood and window of the car that was the actual reflection in the window. It would have been an easy task to remove the “highlights, but I thought they added some interest, so I left them. Let me know which way you think would work better. As is, or with the highlights removed. Thanks