Saturday, September 6, 2008

Magic Light & Photoshop

At about 6:00 or so yesterday evening, the clouds broke in the west and the sun poked through. The quality of light was very good. These are the kind of lighting situations that photographers crave. The sun was shining low in the west and the east was overcast with dark clouds. When quality light like that happens you need to grab your camera and find something to capture.

Unfortunately, I was sitting in the parking lot at Shop & Save when this was happening. It was so good that even the facade over the front door at the store was looking good. The problem with light like that is that it doesn't last very long. So unless you are where you want to be with your camera, you're pretty much screwed. It would have been perfect to have been out in the country side and just the right location for a nice shot. But no. So I grabbed my camera and caught the tail end of the good light with a few shots of the church.

The image at the top of this post is my best shot of the church. It is pretty good as it stands. But I thought I'd play with it a bit late last night. This second version is removes some of the fine details in selected portions of the image and gives it a kind of dreamy feel. It's not a "soft focus" version because there's plenty of hard lines in it.

The third transformation is designed to dramatize the look.

Which one do you like the best? You may have to click on the images to see the differences. Or you can see all three here.


jennifer h said...

I like them all. But number 2 is my favorite. Number 3 is cool, but it looks more like a painting than a photo. Of course, that is cool, too.

Becky Meyers said...

you can definitely see the difference in the clouds. i like the 3rd one best!

Angie B. said...

Number 1 is my favorite, because of:
1) the tree behind the church. I like how it stands out in sharp relief.
2) the texture of the bricks on the building. It also makes for more interesting color on the building, instead of being smeared into one uniform color
3) the reflections in the large window--they sparkle more in #1 than the others.

I do like number #2's swirly clouds. Number 3 makes me think of a postcard. The steeple looks too Thomas Kincade-ish in that one.

Nice work!

Jeff Meyers said...

Angie! Angie! Thomas Kincade?? No, no, no. Please. I'm ruined. Finished. Done. Kaput. Sigh. I'll never use that technique again.

Seriously, your observations are very telling. Of course, #1 is the original image. I guess it's good enough not to fool with? Thanks!

Ruth said...

Can you keep the sharpness/crispness and texture of trees, grass and bricks along with the window sparkle in the original, yet have the sky interest and possibly the darker shadows of #2? Or does the cloud detail automatically soften the other elements? I don't know if you handled these things separately or as a unit. Don't even know if that's the way to express it, but hopefully you get my meaning.

Jeff Meyers said...


I know exactly what you are saying. I think I can do that. Look for a new version (#4) added to he post. Great suggestions.

Angie B. said...

Jeff Meyers: Photographer of Light.

Speaking of Kincade...this painting of his leaves me speechless....NASCAR Thunder.

Jeff Meyers said...

Angie, you've got a wall-sized poster of that in your den at home. Admit it.

Angie B. said...

Dining room.