October 12, 2013

giving trees a special treatment

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Most photographers these days are completely willing to share their special techniques and secrets, but I know this has not always been the case.

Back in the early 1960's, when I was a lad of not more than 14, I attended a lecture at the American Federation of Arts in Carmel given by a high-falootin' and highly regarded photographer of the day--Wynn Bullock. He was a master of the 8x10 "view" camera, and his landscapes frequently incorporated nudes. I was a big, big fan.

But the lecture did not center on the work that had gained him fame. Bullock announced that he had begun a new direction for his work--colorful glowing abstracts, which I now assume were big broken chunks of glass illuminated with colored lights. I thought this new work was wildly creative.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed his slide-show, but several hands went up during the question-and-answer part of his lecture, and most everybody wanted to know exactly how he had made the photographs. But no, he was not willing to share his secrets, refusing to answer question after question. The audience became restless and some even became angry and vociferous.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Anyway, I am perhaps only famous in my own mind, but I am perfectly willing to share my secrets and special techniques. The images I am showing here are completely experimental. Oh, you may have heard of that old quip; "lets run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes"

Getting overly creative with the power of Photoshop is something we photographers all go through--and usually the results are an assault on the eyes. The jury is still out on what I have done here. In addition to changing from color to black-and-white, my basic technique was to reduce the "Clarity" setting in the RAW converter (CameraRAW) before making final tonal adjustments in Photoshop. A penny for your thoughts...

CLICK for 40 photos on what I call my "big site"; photoarrow.com.
CLICK for "Photographing Marin County"; my Marin County exhibit.


Zoomie said...

I really like these. To me, they have a Halloween, haunted sort of feel. Brooding. And I love the straight line of line (line down the middle of a road?) in the second one.

John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

I am not a big fan of over manipulation of pictures with photoshopping tools. Its fine for others if they like to play but I'll pass. I like how you were such a big big fan based on his subject matter at the age of 14. "I'm here to learn camera technique. Really I am."

AphotoAday said...

Hi Zoomie -- thanks, and yes indeed, that is the road out at China Camp. I made a similar photo two or three years ago but the scene just hasn't been cooperative until a few days ago when I snapped this. And I hadn't considered the Halloween angle. Hmmm...

And Hi Sinbad's Dad (John) -- Oh don't worry, these are just for "fun" and I'm not changing my style anytime soon. But once in a while a fellow has to cut loose and experiment. Break all the rules and muck it up real good...

Nancy Ewart said...

Nudes? You liked nudes at 14. I am SHOCKED, Utterly ShockeD !!!!

Great story and your secret is safe with me.

AphotoAday said...

Yes, "Namastennancy" Nancy, 14... Rather remarkable since I honestly didn't know exactly HOW babies were made until shortly before my 13th birthday. But I must have been a quick-study... All theoretical information, of course. Thank GOD I never married and had kids

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