Had some time to kill today just around noon. It’s always hard finding good photographs because, you know, the sun directly overhead makes for such poor light. Well, if that’s the case, then why not help the sunlight along a bit. So, I used three of my go to tools to do just that.
In the panorama above, I pulled up Topas Labs Impression and applied one of my favorite artist effects, Edward Hopper 1. The way the road crossed the bottom of the image lent itself to that kind of look in my mind.
I had been driving through Hatfield, MA which is located along the Connecticut River. I had an hour to kill and was heading north. I had been through Hatfield before, but I always approached these barns from the other direction and, I guess, maybe I never noticed the graffiti. When I saw it this time (because I facing it and the sun was hitting it directly), I pulled over to see what I could do.
The closeup of the graffiti actually benefits the most from the light. But, it ends up just being a photo of graffiti. Everyone has something like that. I needed “different”. So, I used Smart Photo Editor, with its gazillion effects, to pick one that had the grungy, edgy look I thought might work.
After I shot the closeup of the graffiti, I decided I liked seeing both the short shadow side as well as the nicely lit long side in a single image. The dynamic range in the scene is way too wide for digital sensors. Or is it? I could make adjustments and lighten the shadow side enough to pull up more detail, but the image ended up havin an uninteresting low-contrast feel, and I think I wanted the contrast here. In fact, I used my third go to effect, ON1’s Paparazzi. I have a modified version of it. Normally this effect emulates a contrasty high ISO film, but I select Tri-X grain. The vignette is part of the effect and it’s where the grain shows up the most. I like that, too. The sensor, despite the high dynamic range in the source, is noise (digital grain) free. So, ON1 puts in just the right amount grain; I did so like shooting with Tri-X film in the day.
Finally, I started each image in Corel’s Aftershot Pro 3. I like the Perfectly Clear, one button fixer-upper effect to get an image to a nice starting point for each image.