Photographers will often talk about making images versus taking a picture. The former implies intent while the latter glorifies the experience. Vacation and family pics are about the taking, while a portrait session or deliberate landscape is about the making. Here the key word is “deliberate.”
In digital photography, to make an image, it is important to think about the initial input and the final output. By input, I am referring to image capture whereas output refers to the post-capture manipulation and image sharing.
The picture at the top was made with a 17-40mm lens set to 26mm at f/16. I used a neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light striking the sensor and thus produced a 16 second exposure. To maintain sharpness, a tripod, mirror lock-up and cable-switch were used to reduce vibration. While I like the photograph produced at the point of capture, it is not the image that I had envisioned at the time it was made. Without further digital-processing, the picture does not meet my original intent.
To finish this image, I adjusted the whites and blacks in my raw processing software (Aperture 3.5) and exported the file into a secondary program called onOne Perfect Photo Suite 8.5. Like the photograph in my previous post (see Dreams 1), I applied a Glow filter from Photo-Effects within the Perfect Photo Suite package. I chose to use the Deep Forest preset on the original image. The application of this filter darkened the blacks and softened the highlights. Because the effect is so strong, I used the layer settings to back off the filtration by 50% and then blended the processed photograph with the original. To finish the photo I wanted to emphasize the mystery of a dark jungle and the kaleidoscope of color lurking in the shadows. To do this, I boosted the reds by saturating the image.
The final photograph is a construct rather than a photojournalistic representation of reality. It is an expression of my interpretation of my experience.
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