Friday, November 7, 2014

Anatomy of a picture

So I put up a picture yesterday on Facebook and Google +.  It was a good picture and got a fair bit of response.  Most of the commentary talked about how peaceful the scene was and how much fun it would be to take a quiet walk there.

It is amazing what framing will do for you. There are many instances of this online, this one is mine.  Let me walk you through the origin of the shot.  I think it serves as a wonderful lesson on the power an image can have in your mind when the reality is nothing like the image.

Here is the original picture.

Not bad, right?  I was fairly proud of it.  The only thing I did really was open in GIMP and change the color curves a little to punch it up.  I'm not good enough at photo manipulation programs to do them with any real subtlety.  I'm quite ham handed.  Here is the original photo.

See, not really much of a difference.
It was a cloudy day and I waited around for about thirty minutes for a sunbeam to come light things up for me.  It took a while.  I was bored while I waited and took some shots in case the light never came.  You can tell what a difference that light made when it did finally show. 

So, back to the beginning.  I had the opportunity to pass by this place again this morning, probably for the last time. Such is the life for a full time traveler.   I took the opportunity to snap a couple of pictures that tell more of the story of the picture.  Also, I got a chance to see what a difference full light from the opposite direction had on the picture.  I passed by in the morning instead of the evening.

So, it all started like this.

I was driving home with the kids and saw that.  I really thought it might turn into a good image and planned on getting back as soon as I could.  We were leaving the next day and I thought I would never get another chance at it.  Later in the day I snuck out and stood there waiting for the light to change.  Peaceful?

Only if two lanes of highway traffic and passing fruit trucks are peaceful.  I had to be ever mindful backing up that there was no real barrier between myself and the highway.  Two steps further back and you were in traffic.  And yes, that van was there yesterday too.

I thought the light today would be a bit better, but I am not so sure.  I may have just gotten lucky.

I think in the end it boils down to this.  Beauty isn't always in the world, just in how you see it. 

So, that was the story.   On the way home I pulled of to the side of the road for another shot at this house with Mt. Adams in the background that I like so much.  I think this one will take a better photographer than I to do it justice though.

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