March 14, 2009

Art is subjective. Even in photography

When I was in Colorado a few weeks ago, I visited a town that had a huge variety of homes. I was most interested in the Victorian-style homes and shot a few. I chose one of the pictures and ran it through the mass-spectrometer and...kidding. I played around with different features in photoshop.

Here's the near-original. I tweaked it slightly so that the picture wasn't tilted (for some reason, I almost always shoot at a slight angle). As you can see, it's a not bad picture. But it doesn't "sing" to me. It looks a bit washed out, partly because of the sky. The details to the sides of the house are a little distracting. I could crop them out, but it'd be hard to do that especially on the left side because the little house is clearly visible through the porch awning. If I cropped only on the right, the big house would be off-center, and I felt that did the photo disservice.

I ran it through a few easy steps to make the yellow pop a bit and made this photo a little more vignette. I also burned the edges of the frame a bit so that the houses to each sides weren't as obvious.

Here, I pushed the 70s feel a bit further. I like it. All it needs is a white border.

I took #2 photo, because I liked the vignetting and burning at edges effects - and wanted to keep that element in these new versions - and converted it to black and white. I think it works pretty well here.
Pushing the envelope a bit further. I deepened the contrast, making this photo a bit darker. Now the whites in this photo really pop out at you.
Why does this photo work? The trees serve to frame the big house and the balance of dark versus light helps keep your eyes centered.

What else could I do to improve this photo? If I had the time, I'd have gone back in morning when the trees' shadows wouldn't be a major player in this photo. Ultimately, I prefer the last two black and white photos, though I couldn't pick between the two - I like them both for different reasons.

What do you think? Which is your favorite and why?

1 Comments (Click here to comment):

Anonymous,  March 17, 2009 at 12:49 AM  

The first step should always be: Straighten the photo.

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