Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Lesson Learned

My first picture today is of two boats taken earlier this year - I believe it was towards the middle of June.  I went to Fundy National Park, and just before the entry, there is a wharf, restaurants, and a bakery that sells the best sticky buns ever!

When I was leaving, after an afternoon of kayaking with a friend, we stopped at the wharf to have an ice cream and take some photos.  The tide was out and the boats were resting on the ocean floor.  My vantage point might not have been the best for the capture though; I was on one of the piers looking "down".  I squatted to get a lower vantage point because I wasn't about to go down into the muck - especially since I had no boots, not to mention the fact that we probably weren't allowed to do that.

The original photo was taken in colour, but after playing around with that shot and adjusting colour, contrast, sharpness, etc., I decided to see how it would look in black and white.  Once I turned the image to black & white, I readjusted colours and sharpness and played around with it some to see how it would look using different filters and whatnot from Photoshop Elements.  This is about the best I could come up with.  It's not the best image but again, at this point in time, PSE is pretty much a learning experience for me.

Here is the colour image of the above photo.  I made adjustments with sharpness, colours, etc., but I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I tried making it brighter and whatnot, but it didn't seem to make the colours pop.  That's something I want to become better at - making the colours better.  I guess, however, that there really isn't a lot of "colour" in this shot, mostly browns and whites with a little green and blue thrown in.  It's not a bad shot, in my opinion, but I'm sure it could be improved in some way.

I was discussing photography and PSE with a friend last night, and she had said something to the effect that everyone has their own creative streak and will take pictures in their own way, and even make the adjustments in PSE (or whatever program they use) in their own way as well.  We can definitely learn from others, and even try some tips they may give us to improve in photography and/or editing, but ultimately we develop our own style and that's what people will like.  I found her comment very encouraging and motivating (even if she wasn't trying to do that), and made me realize that I will develop my own style of photography (and editing), and if that's what someone likes, great; if not, well they are entitled to their own opinions on that too.

So, with all that in mind, I find these photos to be ok, but I would like to be able to make them really "pop", and improve them.  I am somewhat satisfied with the way they turned out, but I'm also willing for others to give me some pointers on how to fix them (feel free to comment in the comment section).

I entittled this post, "A Lesson Learned" for the simple fact that on my way over to my friend's place last night, there was this amazing cloud display.  It had bright, white clouds mixed with darker storm clouds, and the sun was setting (on the opposite side of the sky) and that was reflecting on the clouds.  It was amazingly beautiful, and I wished that I had brought my camera with me.  As I drove down the highway, ahead of me the lower half of the sky was dark gray - it was raining or looking like it would storm across the river.  Above the wide band of dark gray were several white puffy clouds (again the sun was reflecting on them).  In the band of gray was a portion of a bright rainbow.  It was another "I wish I had my camera for this" moment.  Twice in the span of five minutes I had two images that I would have loved to capture with camera, but I didn't have it with  me. 

Even though it's bulky and the bag is big, I think I just might carry my camera in the car with me for moments like that.  You just never know when you are going to happen upon a scene or event that you smake your head and say, "I wish I had my camera with me for this!"

Question:  Do you carry your camera with you in the car (or however you travel) and keep it with you wherever you go?  What is something you've come across and, thankfully, had your camera to capture the moment, or missed out and wished you had your camera with you?  Let me know in the comments section!


Allie said...

I think, overall, the black and white image looks better. I don't have any tips or anything but I love the advice your friend gave you!

As for me, I always mean to take my camera with me. But I fail to way more often than not and that's when I find images I wish to take, though when I have my camera I rarely seem to find anything that sparks my interest. I'm still learning this lesson. One day it will stick with me =]

Shelley said...

Hi! Thanks for your comment. Sometimes I'm drawn more to the black and white images, and other times I prefer colour. I guess it depends on my mood maybe. Still not sure which of the two on this post that I prefer though, lol.

Mirela said...

The B/W image looks better here IMHO, but sometimes old boats and colored paint flakes coming off them look amazing too. It depends...

When it comes to carrying my camera, I never go without it - I either use my cell phone camera, which is OK for sudden photo moments in the city; or I just carry the whole camera bag with 5 lenses, tripod etc in my trunk.