Sunday, September 30, 2012

Great Blue Heron

Chris isn't overly fond of this shot, but there's something about it that's appealing to me. I turned my color photo into a black and white image, simplified it using some Topaz effects, and then toned it. I like the way the right-hand side is blown out and how the bird faces into that blownoutedness. Chris says it looks "too contrived." I value his opinion, but right now I'm sticking with this one. What do you think?

©Carol Leigh


  1. Carol,

    I'm with YOU on this one.

    I think it's painterly and highly metaphysical. (Ha! Leave it to me for an "otherworldly" interpretation!)

    Looking at it from Chris' point of view, for a moment I can see the white area seems big, leaving perhaps too much for one's imagination to fill in. Again from his POV, I also noticed I was craving more definition around the legs at the water line. Ripples maybe (?) to give my mind more context for where or in what the heron is standing.

    That said, these are quibbles.

    My reaction is you've created a very striking and strong piece. First, because it depicts the experience most of us have a the beach on a sunny day--high contrast images wherever we look. So it's familiar. Yet you've been able to bring weight, detail and character, using the Topaz filters I assume, to strengthen the overall mood and balance of the piece instead of throwing it away like all the rest of us do when we see all we have is blown out images of birds in the surf.

    Second, the subject, the heron, is so vertical-ish in a circular composition it becomes a very strong focal point and subject. The legs lead us up and down, up and down. We go around the edge of the shore then up to the face and bill of the bird, then back down and around the circle of sand. Very cool!

    And very, very artistic!

  2. Beautiful analysis of composition, Linda. Thank you.


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