Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Original vs Edited

Since I've been participating in a photography group that is stressing BW photography more as a Fine Art photography, I've been doing a bit more 'heavy' thinking on the topic.

I've also been experimenting a bit more.
As I said before Winter in the Midwest really allows for dramatic black and white photography. 

Here is a sample of the original shot.
When I first saw it, I decided that I should just delete it because it really wasn't what 'I thought' I was seeing through the lens.
Then I didn't want to just delete it.
I wanted to see if I could save it in any way.


I did get some motion on the water, but overall it looked pretty darned bland.  To me it was a toss away shot, overexposed and not useable.
But dang I liked the rocks and I put a LOT of effort snow shoeing to this spot, climbing down a steep bank and squatting in water for this.

So I dropped it simply into Topaz Adjust to see what might happen.

Well now, this was much better!  The colors are more lifelike, the water has a bright spot in the center which wouldn't be liked by some, but doesn't bother me at all.  There is a sense of movement and it isn't quite so BLAH.

So what would happen if I turned this into a Black and White shot?  Would it look better?  Worse?
I used this layer and put it in Topaz BW Effects.

I used a Platinum Toned preset:

Okay so I liked that a lot too.  But it doesn't give the viewer a feeling of being cold, which...darn it all, it was squatting there in the creek doing all sorts of contortions to focus on this shot.

So I took the color version and put it back into Topaz BW Effects and chose Selenium I which gave it a colder look.  I tried Cold Blue, but that just made it tinted too blue for my tastes.

I like this version quite a bit also.  It does feel colder, but I like how I am more mesmerized by the water than by the colors of the rocks.

In any way, for my personal tastes, I think I saved a pretty blah photo due to editing.
By the way, I am not saying you need to buy Topaz products, I've got them, so I use them.

There are other ways of doing the very same thing in different Photo Editing programs.

Conclusion.  I didn't produce Fine Art BW work here.  Just saved a photo that I'd put in a lot of effort and hard work to get.  
Think ~~ long hard walk through the woods, climbing hills, and trudging through heavy nasty underbrush ~~ just to get to one spot to take a few photos.

As a wonderful surprise I looked up from where I was and found this Bittersweet growing right above me!

PS~ untouched in editing!


  1. try using a faster shutterspeed and film it will give you close to stop action and mill be fun to play with

  2. I used an ND filter so I could slow down the shutter speed and catch the motion of the water.
    I did take stop action and it was fairly unremarkable.

    But the bubbles were cool!