Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Five Minutes In Photoshop Elements

I haven't written anything, so sue me.

Here are two versions of the same photograph.

The first version is pretty much as it looks off of the camera. It's not spectacular. It's pretty, maybe, but nothing worth writing home about.

But the first version was a big disappointment; it has none of the emotional impact that afternoon sky put into my heart. If that makes any sense at all.

The old saying, "Photos don't lie" is itself a lie.

I saw this and went, "it's OK," but nothing more.

So in Photoshop Elements I added a "photo filter" with a red cast to it to enhance the reddish tones in that one layer of clouds that tells most of the story here.

That helped, but not much, so I added a neutral density "gradient filter" which adds a colorless gray tone to the whole photograph, just a little at the bottom, but gradually getting denser toward the top of the photo.

This has the effect of darkening the upper portion of the photo in a gradual progression which looks natural to the eye, if I did it right that is.

Although the second version is not strictly accurate to what the camera originally captured, it is MUCH more accurate to the emotional impact that the sky had on me that evening..

So, am I telling a lie by photoshopping the image? I don't think so.

If I did this right, your first view of the second image imparts into you a feeling similar to me standing there in awe of God's handiwork.

To me, that's as "honest" as I can make a picture; to convey to you how I felt standing there that day.


Hammer said...

I like the effect. I've seen some skies that orange before but never captued it on film.

Norma said...

Nope. I like the first one. It's real. I would stop the car, get out and just enjoy it. For the second one, I'd wonder who put a billboard up.

Ben said...

I'm totally with you John. The first one may look natural but often camera's WB fools the image compare to the naked eye. I think you actually saw the colour somewhere between these two in reality. I think presenting image has two different faces. One is documenting the scene as possible as natural and as is, and another is that telling those emotional impact of photographer.

This Eclectic Life said...

I don't think it's "telling a lie," but call it "enhancing the truth." Whatever you call it, it's gorgeous.

Julie said...

And sometime embellishing makes it perfect!

JAM said...

Ben, you nailed it.

This photo was a bit overexposed and washed out some of the color that was originally there to my eye.

The second photo is a bit of an exaggeration, but I was trying for the emotional impact of what I had seen.

The real thing was somewhere between the two photos.