It's Like...Magic

I really like to play with and manipulate some (not all) of my images to see what they can become. Now - I know full well that there are photographers out there who will tell you that that's not really photography, but I beg to differ. Post-production software is just another tool in the toolbox.  It doesn't mean that just because you have it you have to USE it.  To me, it means that if I feel like doing something to an image, I can.  It's not a crutch, it's a TOOL...just like any other piece of equipment in my kit.

It never fails to amaze me how some images, when I start experimenting with them in Photoshop or in an app, seem to develop and have their own energy.  They flow and caress the lines and light and shadow, all of their own accord.  I'll try something and when I'm done I look at it and think "whoa!". Then I'll try something else and it's "whoa!" all over again.  They seem to have a mind of their own.

I was walking my dog a while back and there were all these pieces of broken rock laying around on the trail we frequent.  Now granted, this is the land of sand and cactus and brown abounds.  So these rocks were, you guessed it, brown.  Different shades for sure, but brown nonetheless.  I just happened to have my camera with me and started shooting the rocks.  I thought, "well, what's the worst that can happen?  I'll just delete the crummy versions and keep any I think work."  This is what I got after I played with them in post.  The first one in both of the following sets is the original.

If it had been the non-photographer me walking on that trail, I wouldn't have thought twice about stopping to shoot these rocks; I would have walked right on by.  But there was something about them.  The texture kind of grabbed me.  The lines and edges were unique as well.  Turns out photographers seem to see things in objects that other people don't.  So what happened?  This...

Then of course, there are iPhone images.  Again, there are folks out there that will say iPhone imagery is not "real" photography, but who can argue with the many amazing books out there on that very subject?  And not only that, it takes a bit of talent to produce a great image with a mobile phone, given their limitations.  So, here's another tool for my toolbox.  When I initially took the images below, I thought, "well, that didn't work."  But just in case, I kept them on my phone and when I stuck them in one of my handy-dandy apps, I got these cool abstract images that I could have never imagined in my head.  The original was a really terrible  (yes, we all have a few of those - we just don't like to talk about it) close-up image of a silk and plastic iris.  I threw it into an app called TangledFX and the first one was the resulting image.  After that, I played with it in my filters app, and voila!  A beautiful abstract image from something I thought was a throw-away.

I'm no Picasso, however, I do want to point out that even if you think you shot crap on any given day, keep the images!!!  You never know what result you'll get when you start playing with it in post-production software or an app.  And...it may even turn out to be THE image that gets you into a show. Just sayin'.....