Sticks and stones…

When I look at a photo, I love to feel some kind of emotion or connection with it.  That connection is necessary to draw me in, making me stop and take a longer look.  The same goes when I publish a photo.  I want it to stir an emotional response and, as a result, for it to be memorable.  My passion is photographing people.  When I photograph people, I find myself overflowing with emotion – sometimes too much emotion (not really).  Others feel that way about architectural or landscape photography.  What type of photography sparks your emotion?

In Maine this fall I looked around at the leaves and they looked like fall leaves to me: no personality and no mood.  After a while I thought, “Why not try to create a mood that just wasn’t there?”  We were at Bubble Pond and there was a rock and some sticks (I am sure there is a better name than that) breaking the surface of the water.  At first I tried to slow the water down by reducing the shutter speed.  That made it more interesting but not by much.  I had purchased a ridiculously expensive filter a couple of years ago called the Vari-ND by Singh Ray that I used on waterfalls.  Experimenting, I tried the filter and it definitely helped.  The sticks showed movement and the water turned soft and barely visible while the rock suddenly popped and stood on its own.

The image was still seemed grey and “blah” in my opinion so I adjusted the mood using the in-camera white balance.  Incandescent white balance worked the best and improved the image by giving the scene a blue tone with some added mood.  The blue provided a cool and calming feel and seemed to work really well with the relaxing horizontal image.

In Aperture I cropped, sharpened, adjusted the levels, mid contrast and white balance.  I reduced noise from the long exposure with Noiseware Professional.  In Photoshop I used the spot healing brush to clean up a few dust spots.  On the second photograph I used a Nik Color Efex 4 bi-color filter.

Photo 1 Info (top): Nikon D800, 70-200mm at 200mm, ISO400, f/14, 4 sec, -.33ev.

Sticks and Stones 2

Photo 2 Info: Nikon D800, 70-200mm at 200mm, ISO 400, f/20, 8 sec, -.67ev.

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