January 19, 2010

Searching for the Sun


One of the most wonderful things about pixography is that you can travel with a small camera, capture images almost anywhere, then later, in the digital darkroom, transform those images into something that reflects what you saw in the moment.

Take this flower for example. It is a beauty. I found it in a cafe in Victoria, BC where I had stopped in with my family for a late breakfast. A beautiful day was unfolding when we followed our direction to The Heron Rock Bistro. At our booth in a dark corner in the back, nestled in a small glass vase, was this single flower.

After we ordered I passed the time making plans for the day and snapping images of this bold blossom resting casually in the simple vase. The table was slate gray, the wall was gray and a downlight shone brightly on the luscious curve of the flower's petals. I captured it from different angles as we waited.

Later, when I downloaded the images, this one stood out. There were shadows that offered depth and dimension and the contrast lent itself to mystery in the leaves arching upward in the background. The curve of the stem and the distortion of the clear glass of the vase subtly ground the flower and add personality.

I emphasized these features by boosting the contrast and saturation. The simple lines benefit from contouring and the texture of the flower itself, the center eye and outstretched petals, are amplified by an artistic filter. The result is a gorgeous portrait of a single blossom open, outstretched and searching for the sun.

January 15, 2010

Snow Lights

Original photo by GF

I am often amazed by the way low light shots can be transformed in the digital darkroom. This image was captured one evening last December when that lingering snowfall was still new and exciting. Teenagers gathered in front of our house bright with energy and excitement over this rare addition to our winter landscape.

Streetlights provided some illumination but the original photo was still dark and somewhat blurred. After straightening and cropping the image I boosted the exposure and saturation to define the featured elements. Finally, contouring the scene gave it a certain universal quality that conveys the crisp atmosphere and joyous energy of the evening without dwelling on the precision of the image or the individual personalities involved. The result is a festive celebration of light shining in the darkness.

January 11, 2010

Night Sky

Original photo by JE

Tempestuous clouds stretch and sweep above the sleepy streets of my home town.

Though the colorful beacons that light our world shine boldly throwing sparks into the majesty of night, their brash splendor cannot rival the subtle shades and intricate turning of this turbulent skyscape. Indigo, lapis and cerulean are marbled around one milky thread of denim blue as the clouds arch and roil, far exceeding and indifferent to the display below.

Contoured and defined the edges of these colors speak eloquently of nature's creative hand. Thunderous, yet playful, they strike my imagination like flint and spark my own creative fires.