Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Making a Photo "Speak"

One of the many great features of digital photography is that you are not wedded to either color or b/w -- each image can be viewed both ways. And it is equally easy to make an image sepia -- with film you had to bleach the image in the darkroom and apply more chemicals to get the effect. With digital, it's just another menu option.

I'm always drawn to old white buildings in this classic vernacular style.  Although I've photographed any number of them, I still haven't figured out really what to do with them, i.e., how I need to present them to get at the underlying compulsion to photograph them.  A straight image doesn't "speak" enough.  In an effort to dig deeper, I used a "glow" filter on this shot, to give it a luminous presence, as if remembering it in one's mind. 
Continuing with this idea, I used the glow image and added the grayscale/duotone/quadtone feature in Photoshop to give the image a rich sepia tone.  Because old photographs often have a sepia tone, this soft brown pushes the image further back in time.  I'm still not satisfied -- there's something there I haven't quite brought to the surface.... 

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