I’ve been reading lots of blogs and viewing lots of pictures taken by some very talented photographers lately. Being around art and creative people, I get inspired to try new ideas. I like to learn new styles by trying what other people do, then make myself adapt it into my own personal style. It then becomes another tool I can use – another brush in the jar. But first, I have to go to school with it. I give myself an assignment just like a professor would assign a project to a group of art students.
I typically do not bend pictures, that is, I don’t manipulate photographs after I take them. I work hard at exposure, composition, simplifying, saturating and conveying what I see or feel when I take a picture. I like the literal more than the interpretive. Therefore, if I want to learn new things, I can’t keep doing the same thing over and over. I have to step out and venture into the new, just like learning a new dance step. You have to move forward and grow.
Last week, I went out around Sugar Land to work on two subjects I’ve had on my list of things to take pictures of. Special things about railroad trains is one of the subjects. I sat by the tracks waited for the train, but after 45 minutes and no train passing by, I switched subjects and went to the abandoned Imperial Sugar site. There’s lots of good textures there – brick, steel, neon, oak trees and a clear blue sky. And the way I see it, this historic site will someday be torn down or remodeled, so I wanted to get some shots to document this location.
I took the shots with my Nikon D90 and was pretty happy with some of the things I captured. Then instead of using the apps on my iPad, I wanted to just play around with iPhoto’s special features. I found that by bending the settings, it gave me a feeling similar to the experience I used to have in the old black and white darkroom when I used to do film. Now with digital, I can apply some of those same concepts and expand into some things that I could not do with film.
The result was quite pleasing. In this case, I kept the picture within the realm of ‘reality’ by mainly intensifying colors and increasing the contrast of the shot. I’ve had fun doing all kinds of crazy things with various apps that I’ve downloaded, but this was all done with just the basic iPhoto that comes with my Mac.
Here’s the original photo before bending the digital content.