Monday, July 26, 2010

Everyone Sees Something Different

A bunch of people took part in Scott Kelby’s Third Annual Worldwide Photowalk on Saturday. It was a mixed group of young and not so young, amateur and professional, old friends and new friends. Everyone sees something different. Two people, with the same camera, same lens, standing in the same spot come up with two entirely different images. It’s amazing what one person sees versus another. I’d guess 90% of the people on the walk would stroll right past a shot and one or two might see something and still come up with two distinct images. One of the unique images I saw was a trashcan lid, under some metal grate stairs, hanging from a chain. No trashcan, just the lid. Guess something needed the can more than the rightful owner (or so they thought). It wasn’t a Grand Canyon vista, but it was a great, story telling shot. Today’s image isn’t going to win any prizes but, again, it’s a “story telling” shot. The photographer has seen something others hadn’t. She spent several minutes working the scene. I haven’t seen what she got, but, hopefully it’s something intriguing. The “morale” of the story is that your “artistic vision” is unique. Some people have a better “eye” than others for texture, color or composition. Some have better imaginations and can “see” the potential of a shot or a piece of a shot. Could it be that the photographer is looking at a texture to be used as a component of another, more complex composite image? To find out if today’s image is what it seems, or if it’s more complex, hit the “read more”.
As contrasty as today’s image is, the contrast has been tamed quite a bit from where it started. Masks played a big part in this image. One mask for the bright areas of the wall and another for the photographer. As can be seen, the sun was out in full force and reflecting off the wall. That gave some reasonable separation between the wall and the person. The Quick Selection Tool (W) was used to isolate the person and the tragic Magic Wand Tool (W) was used to pick up the bright spots of the wall.

The wall got an overlay of a brown color to give it a little color. The mask kept the original browns from going darker and just continuing the light to dark ratio. The mask of the photographer kept her out of the equation. The sharpening Layer (using a High Pass Filter sharpening technique) was applied only to the person and a mask employed to keep any sharpening off the wall.

The vignette Layer also had a mask of the photographer applied so the hat would not be darkened by the vignette. There’s more work to this image than it appears at first glance. The trick is making it look like it’s right out of the camera.