In my youth, I was conflicted about editing my photographs significantly.
How much editing removed an image from being a photograph to a work of art?
When did that image no longer represent the situation as it existed at the time I pressed the shutter release?
I remember being concerned over brushing out a dog’s leash in one customer’s photograph, although it lead the viewer’s eye out of the photograph.
Today, we have many computer programs that make it almost thoughtless to alter our digital pictures. One of those I have discussed a great deal is ON1 Photo 10, now at version 10.5. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy improving my images by enhancing and editing them, and ON1 is a great tool for doing so.
Here is an example of a recent edit I accomplished with ON1, beginning with this original photograph:
It’s an OK snapshot, but the flowers are thin toward the front, the sky is featureless and dingy, the colors are lackluster, and there are some ugly towers and poles rising from the horizon.
My assignment was to convert this photo into a work of art (not a digital photograph) fit for a 90” by 70” wall mural that would lead the viewer’s eyes into the distance. The purchaser’s goal is to make a room look larger.
The general edits made were:
– Cropped the photo to remove the large tree, bring down the horizon and reduced the thin flowers in the foreground.
– Removed the objects raising above the horizon in the resultant image.
– Increased the color in the grass and flowers, but decreased the orange in the tire marks that resulted.
– Increased the density of flowers in a few places where the Rogaine didn’t seem to take.
– Brought the white bench back into the photo from the right, where it had been cropped out because of all the other requirements.
– ON1’s strong suit, replacing the bland sky with a puffy white cloud backdrop.
– Finally, because the backdrop sky had a deep blue that clashed with the customer’s white wall, I bleached much of the sky’s color and give the clouds a glowing, dreamy quality.
All of the edits were fairly standard and easily accomplished, but moving the bench took some thought about ON1 features and controls.
Please let me know if you would like further information on the bench movement, or any of the other edits. And let me know what you thought of this transformation. I plan to discuss the digital photograph versus digital art conundrum further.