Play date

Tungsten vs. Open Shade

While out and about and playing in tungsten, I also took a few photos with the white balance set to Open Shade (also called “Cloudy” and may have some other names I’m not familiar with) which brings warmer tones to your photos.

I like to use the Open Shade setting when I’m taking photos outdoors in the bright sunlight.  It keeps things from being overexposed, and helps to bring out the shadows as well as a warm light.

Remember yesterday’s feather in blue?  Here it is with the white balance set to Open Shade:

The colors and tones look almost normal, but you can see a touch of warmth at the end of the feather.

Since clothespins are so popular (people actually search for photos of clothespins or pegs), here are the two shots collaged in my opening photo, one in tungsten and one in open shade.

I’ve found on my camera that I can vary the amount of blue or warm shading by playing around with some of the other settings (shutter speed and aperture).

And now, for some post-processing play.  Yay!

Since it’s nearly impossible for me to take a photo of the stars reflected on the pond, I went to Picnik to pick them up with one of their textures.

I realize this kind of post-processing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  I used to be a purist too, then gradually started tweaking my photos to sharpen them or improve brightness and contrast.  I suppose that was a gateway drug for me because now I’m adding textures and effects occasionally.  I like the fun aspects of this type of processing.  I get bored when it’s all seriousness.  And since I’m not a photojournalist trying to record reality and nothing but reality, I can afford to play.

It allows me to do the impossible, such as place the moon under water.

In color and in black & white.

Sometimes, of course, reality is so magical that it doesn’t require any kind of tweaking or post-processing.  If I come up with anything like that, I’ll be sure to share it here at the blog.

Thanks for visiting on this rather gray day in the Bogs.  It’s chilly, cloudy, with a slight chance of snow flurries tonight and tomorrow morning.  It probably won’t amount to much.  One of the local weather wizards keeps teasing that we’re going to have a snow event over the weekend.  None of the other wizards seem to agree with him so we’ll just have to wait and see.

32 Comments on “Play date”

  1. milkayphoto says:

    You had a fun play day! I think it is okay to do as much post processing on an image as you like as long as you are honest about what has been done.

    By definition, a Photograph refers to an image of an object, person, scene, etc, in the form of a print or slide recorded by a camera on photosensitive material. Typically, acceptable changes (as what would have been done in a darkroom) include, dodging/burining (highlights/shading), filters (neutral density, color or b&w, for example), color balance, sharpening, contrast, cropping and retouching (to remove blemishes, etc.

    Now, Digital Art refers to a general term for a range of artistic works and practices that use digital technology as an essential part of the creative and/or presentation process, going beyond what would be allowed in a traditional darkroom.

    There is also a third term, Photomanipulation which refers to images that are altered beyond the original, such as adding textures, borders, combining different images, removing elements, etc.

    With so much ‘photography’ these days being heavily post-processed and not deemed as such it is often difficult to tell anymore what is real and what isn’t. As long as you let people know what it is they are looking at then it is okay.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you for the lesson, Tracy. Since I was just expressing my thoughts, I didn’t see a need to go into all of that, but do appreciate you laying it out. 🙂

      Frankly, I’ve always felt that the removal of blemishes is photomanipulation. Back in the olden days, when our children were young, M and I decided to have a family portrait taken by one of those big chain studios that you can find anywhere in the U.S. Or could. I don’t know if they’re still in business these days or not. Anyhow, when we looked at the proofs we decided not to buy any prints because we didn’t recognize the people in the portrait. Their skin was too smooth and evenly toned, scars and or other distinguishing marks had disappeared. I understand the use of it (especially with teen and wedding portraits), but I do find it manipulative as it doesn’t present a true version of the person.

      • milkayphoto says:

        Yes, I agree that some studios take portrait finishing way too far. Nothing like seeing a 60 year old woman with NO wrinkles! Yeah, right! I was taught to only take it to a point where it is still believable. Folks want to look good BUT still look like themselves!

        As an aside, you probably should add Digital Art and Photomanipulation as tags when your photos fit those criteria. There are folks and groups completely dedicated to that type of processing and they might want to seek you out!

        • Robin says:

          lol! Well, there may be some 60 year old women who prefer not to look like themselves. That sort of thing harks back to portrait painting so nothing new there. lol!

          I hadn’t thought about those tags. Good idea! Thank you for the suggestion. 🙂

  2. I’m with you entirely… in so much as I do love a natural looking photo, but I DO so love to play around with processing too… Sometimes just playing to make something “look” more natural is essential and enjoyable, as it’s not always wise to rely on the cameras interpretation of what’s right… Nice selection of versions to prove the points too… 🙂

  3. ~mimo~ says:

    Such interesting results! I love post processing work and photo manipulation! I think it adds your special touch as an artist to the photo and goes beyond simple photo taking.

  4. I really love what you have been doing with the blues recently–here especially, the stars. The intensity of color is amazing.

  5. Karma says:

    Whatever type of processing you call it, I think your stars on the water are really neat. And you are really showing some nice texture in that last feather photo.

  6. Dana says:

    I like seeing the difference between the two settings, although I have a particular fondness for that blue feather shot in yesterday’s post compared to the “naturalness” of the feather in today’s post. What can I say? I love rich hues! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Dana. 🙂

      I love rich hues, too. I try not to overdose on them, especially now that yoga is teaching me more than a little about moderation.

  7. bearyweather says:

    I have had a really long (13.5 hours at school) and rough day with numerous issues to deal with .. it is 10pm, i just got home and a bag of papers are waiting to be corrected … if I can keep my eyes open.

    You don’t know how much I envy your play day … experimenting with your camera, being outside, working with photo editing …. the biggest joys of my life. I hope you had enough fun for both of us. 😉

  8. Chloe says:

    it’s always fun to experiment with settings, i really like how the leaf photo turned out
    nice compositions

  9. Carla says:

    Love what you do with your photos, Robin. I had just discovered Picnik right as it’s scheduled to close, alas! Let me know what you figure out to replace it, if anything!

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Carla. 🙂

      Flickr is supposed to come out with an editing program to replace Picnik. I’ll let you know if I do come up with something else.

  10. Kel says:

    gotta love a peg photo

  11. aFrankAngle says:

    My knowledge of photography – minimal.

    My appreciation of photography techniques by those who know what they are doing – outstanding

    Reflections in a pond – priceless

  12. I’m no purist – I just have no idea how to use any of those manipulation thingies… 🙂
    Love that last shot.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Marie. 🙂

      The manipulation thingies aren’t so difficult to use, but it does take time to figure some of it out. The main thing is to always remember to use a copy of your photo and not the original. I learned that lesson the hard way. Many times over.

  13. Sallyann says:

    Playtime is funtime, enjoy your fun, I am. 🙂

  14. Love the processed photos of the starts on the pond! The last shot is beautiful, too.

  15. eof737 says:

    You take the most interesting details in photos… Still working my way through 2000 emails. Phew! 🙂

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