January 24, 2012

Monthly Photo Challenge

I've joined  a monthly photo challenge...  mcp Project 12.  I definitely need a boost to get going on my
photography skills. This month's theme:  Resolution.  Two thoughts have been busy in my mind since the turn of the new year.  I am delaying telling you my foremost contemplation... until I finish the photo that tells its story. Coming soon!

Now!  Onto the other thought...
I'm working on improving my computer graphic skills, which is pushing me into learning some photography.
That has led me to start blogging to post my work, especially helpful for the challenges.
       AND...
I've been encouraged to upload my music, which works out well since I'm blogging.
        So, here's my photo and edit that inspires me for my goals.

  • I photographed my piano.  ( learning to use my camera - check!)
  • I had so much fun editing the photo. (practicing photoshop skills - check!)
  • I am posting a song below for those who are interested in listening. (posting music - check!)
(Click on title to access music)

The story behind the edit:      (...just a rabbit trail, so skip below for edit info if you'd like)
You know you're a noob when your best ideas come from happy accidents.  One of these days, I'll photograph and edit intentionally.  Until then, chalk one up for experience!
I practiced with my camera the night before, under tungsten-type lighting.  I was proud enough to remember that I could switch the white balance mode to compensate.  What I didn't remember was that the setting needs to be put back; it doesn't reset automatically.  And that led to my happy accident.
Early the next morning I saw sunlight hugging my piano. Thinking it would be a great capture,  I happily clicked away.  The lighting was much different than expected when I ran the photos through the computer, thanks to the white balance still set for tungsten lighting.  BUT, it was a cool effect, so I went to work playing with all kinds of adjustments to get the high key effect... no pun really intended.

What's in the edit:
I unfortunately deleted one of my working psd files, which caused a few problems along the way. I don't have the exact process, but it involved initial sharpening, cloning to clean up, duplicating layers and using blend modes.  Curves and levels adjustments. Brightness and contrast adjustments. A solarizing filter.  A lighting flare.  Text with effects. Making a matte, using expanded canvas, inner glow, beveled edges, outer glow. Adding floral brushes at the bottom of the photo to soften and balance. Always the mcp final sharpening and resizing for web.

What I like:
I like the hard light and sharp lines; the piano shines and glows with the morning sun's colors. Enhanced, yes, but the piano is definitely the focal point. I also like the "etched" lines suggesting the windows' shapes; edgy, but not distracting from the piano as the full window exposure would. And I like the assorted line elements in the composition: the piano's angles, the window lines, and the arch of the upper window.  The branches behind the piano and the translucent flowers below soften the hard lines.

What I would like to be different:
When the photo is enlarged, the YAMAHA on the piano is in sharp focus.  But at this size, it's not.  Any suggestions for next time?  Or is this acceptable?  Go ahead and critique the photo and edit; I'd love to learn more. Just give a pat-on-the-back when you're done!

Thanks for dropping by!


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