Thursday, August 23

Enhancement

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A visual idea often has a moment of life then dies, you know what I mean? Look, how often have you snapped a score of pictures but when processing time comes.... YUCK! What were you thinking when your finger twitched the shutter? It was even worse when you'd send away film and it took a week until two, three, even five rolls of slides came in the mail. You'd pull them out and always... always... always... your heart would drop. Oh there'd be a keeper or two, but overwhelmingly the idea died when the lens chute swallowed that burst of light.

Now we have tools to find what idea or feeling that other guy... the one who took the picture... the younger you... wanted to send to you when he clicked the shot. Look at this image for example. It was sunrise in the center of Middlebury, Connecticut. I'd never been there before and this mill race called me. It seemed so photogenic. And yet, when I looked at the images of the ruins of the old mill... There was so little there. Before. Now, after an hour of teasing the hues and textures here's the image the younger me filled the frame with. Now I can hear the roar of that water. I can feel the rumble under foot. I'm squinting again as the low morning sun gleams into my eyes. Is this really the scene as it was? Or is this image fiction? Know what? I don't care. You?

5 comments:

Bill said...

Fiction or not? Nope, I don't care either. And of course I've never been there but I really do get a feel for the place, my senses are all kicking in as I peer into this image. Wonderful moment.

I do wonder about the crop though. I'd prefer to crop over from the left to get rid of the pond which takes my eyes out of the image. Just a thought.

Flo said...

Oh my, Ted! You're a real artist - first with the camera, then with the pixels. You're a real painter of light.

I love this image to pieces :-)

Flo from the RV

Trub said...

Just yesterday I shot a trial series on the Japanese House in Fairmount Park. It was hot, midday, humid, overcast and so……..not great results, but I knew that going in. It was confirmed with a half hour of returning home. But PS3 can salvage my imagination and whet my appetite to return when conditions are favorable. I will play with the pixels and massage it some but starting with a solid photograph is my preference. Ted you are right, we have wonderful tools at our fingertips but the best one is between our ears. Your work is not just fixing a photograph but also adding your emotional content to it. That comes across. Your process or attentiveness builds a work of art. Is it fiction? Isn’t all creative work fiction? It is true to your vision and strikes a chord in your viewers. For that I thank you for sharing. This is such a wonderful time to live and discover.

Ted Byrne said...

(Bill) Thanks for your appreciation of the sense of place. It was what I was after - that and the inexorable force of nature against stuff we erect to exploit it. As for the crop, I looked at precisely your suggestion with a razor eye (and razor in hand) but decided that it added necessary balance in that corner. And added to the panorama of the white water. It's a judgement call, but isn't everything about what we do?

(Flo) Well... YIPES! "Love to pieces..." is a powerful kinda luv.... Thanks.

(Trub) I agree that a solid image from the memory card makes me a happy Ted. BUT... I'll bet that you're like me and rarely click the shutter without some reason. But what was that $%$%#! reason. So often I wonder, "What was he thinking?" about that guy who aimed and shot my Canon. It's sort of a safari of discovery into my own... past... mind. Looking for clues from an image which attracted my attention, sometimes for a millisecond. What's cool is that moment of discovery when you murmur... "Oh.. oh yea!" Then the trick is to take what you saw than and communicate it to others. And as you say this is a wonderful time to live and discover. Particularly if you have photographic skills.

mcmurma said...

Hmm. Pretty much what Bill said... except for the crop part. (I don't feel qualified!)

There "is" a sense of artistry and place going on here that I'm sure was devilish to tease out of the image. It just looks like one of those scenes where everything is beautiful in the being there, but translates into blown highlights and soggy rock on film.

with your work, though, you have made it sing. Much as I'm sure it does each morning when few (or none) are there to listen.