We’ve all heard it. It’s pretty simplistic advice for traumatic, real-life problems, problems that matter that can’t be cured by simple clichés. But….for those non-issue “problems” we run into regularly, it sure helps if you can pick up what you have and go with it.
So, for instance, when you’re standing at a mucky pond edge trying to get just the right shot without falling, camera in hand, into the water, you have to expect that you might need to deal with a little blur. Don’t hit delete immediately though! Get a little creative – there still might be something in the shot that will save it from the bit bucket, like a great composition and some amazing color despite the over-exposure. 🙂
Early Morning Bloom
This may not have been the picture I envisioned when I lined up the shot. It may be that I don’t have the ability to draw freehand and have the results look like anything recognizable. But, with lots of trial and error, I figured a way to make this image into something that I think is worthy. And I had a lot of fun creating it as well.
Original shot: Lensbaby Composer Pro with Wide Angle Lens, ISO 100, 1/2500, aperture = 0 I forgot to bring my Lensbaby aperture disks with me, so had to make do with the wide open lens. Once I was wet and having little fishes brush against my legs, I wasn’t willing to go back into the house to find those disks. So, I stayed with a fast shutter speed and tried to shoot in the shadows — except for this one shot, my first today with the Lensbaby, taken a few seconds before the realization that I didn’t have an aperture disk in the ComposerPro.
First I did some minor adjustments in Lightroom with exposure (it didn’t help much) and with saturation levels. Then, using PS Elements, I copied and inverted a layer, set blend mode to Color Burn, then used the filter for “Minimum” to bring out the lines in the flower. This is a variation of the “Sketch” effect that I’ve used previously. (You can find the entire process in a tutorial by Bill Barber here).
In a separate layer, I applied the artistic filter Smudge Stick and then applied a Gaussian blur to soften up the background which was already pretty blurry. Thanks camera shake and Lensbaby: without that blur this image wouldn’t be what it was — or became! Erased this layer over the surface of the flower. Set the blend mode to Overlay and merged the layers. Then, I added a solid color screen in a light pink hue to add some complimentary color to the background and erasing it over the area of the bloom.
Et voilá! I like the way this turned out. I would love to be able to create something like this with paper and pencil or pastel or something, but instead of calling it “Early Morning Bloom”, I’m afraid I’d have to title it “Early Morning Blob”.
I took several other photos. Hey – some of them were even in focus! I predict that a few of them will show up here over the next few weeks. The water in the pond was warm but it probably was a stupid idea to climb into the water with my camera. Everything turned out okay though.
And then I went inside and had some lemonade. Not because it is what life has thrown at me; (lemons have to be imported in my neighborhood) but because it is really hot here right now and lemonade was a perfect refresher.