Tuesday, August 14, 2018

WHAT-IFFING . . . "Guido the Gull"

As I was deleting photos from my drives that should have been deleted years ago, I stopped at this one, taken in Astoria along the Columbia River, as I was waiting for a cargo ship to come into range.

(And what is it about gulls that we feel compelled to photograph them all the time? Just because they're there?)

Anyway, here you can see the original, untweaked photo, straight out of the camera. It's awful. Bad lighting, no catchlight in the eye, just a gull standing in dead grass.

As I was about to "move to trash," I stopped. And wondered, "what if?" What if I used some filters in Photoshop? What if I used some Topaz effects? What if I just played around with this bad picture?

So many times I have a plan of sorts, or a routine, or just a way of processing my pictures. And I often wonder "what if" I did something else. But no, I'm on a particular quest and that can wait for some other time.

That time is now. I'm going to make an effort to research what some of these other features are in Photoshop. Features I see every day but never take the time to explore.

So here we have Guido the Gull, a bored bird sitting there, hoping I'll toss him something edible. Bad photo. But then I went into Photoshop and played with a few filters, then into Topaz and played with a few more, and then back to Photoshop and did some other things.

And here's the result. Is it wonderful? No. Is it different? Yes. Do I remember how I made this? Sorta, if I go back to the original file and take a look at my layers. Was it fun? Heck yes! And will I keep this version? Yes (sigh). Perhaps for a few years, when I'll look back and wonder what the heck was I thinking?

I shall try to make what-iffing a part of my regular routine. (Yeah, like there's a regular routine.) And if not now, then when?

All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.


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  2. Nice article and I like the new gull! I am saving all my boring photos for future "what-iffing)!

  3. I like what you've done with Guido ... maybe do a series of 3 gulls (different posts) and post on Fine Art America.


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