Monthly Archives: April 2013

Working a Subject #1

130430_EurekaMines_Outhouse_Stoop by Karl Graf. Now that my curiosity was triggered, I moved in for a closer look at the outhouse shown in my last blog.  I like to work an image from different perspectives.  My eye is attracted to details.  They naturally went to these weather and wear beaten boards which made up the stoop leading inside.

I used selective treatments of brightness/contrast layers in Photoshop to highlight and darken the boards and background to provide the contrast that I recall when I took the image.  Thanks to Chuck Kimmerle for the tips.



Related Images:

Seeing New Things

Attached is a blog entry from John Barclay which addresses seeing new things that you would not have shot before. | | Page 3.

By itself, the structure did not capture my interest.  However when linked with other “waste” materials, it perked my curiosity.  Here is my version.  Just a different perspective.

130428_EurekaMines_Outhouse by Karl Graf.

My next couple of posts will include additional details of the outhouse as I worked the image.

Related Images:

Working in B&W

130427_Spring_Daffys_BW by Karl Graf. I am continuously trying to train my eye to see B&W.  I find it difficult to see past brilliant color and identify the potential for B&W images.  A few days ago, I stepped out our back door and saw these two yellow daffodils brilliantly back-lit by the low morning sun.  Was it the color or was it the the brilliance of the back-lit subject that caught my eye ….

The following is the color version.

130427_Spring_Daffys_Color by Karl Graf.

Spring is Here … Maybe?

130422_Spring_Daffys&Pond by Karl Graf. Just when we thought Spring was here, the temperatures dropped to the low 30’s last night.  This morning was bright and clear, but “finger numbing” chilly.  With the wind blowing, I worked hard to come up with the best compromise between a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the daffodils and a depth of field large enough to get some detail in the background.  I was not too successful.  But it was still a bright Spring morning shot.

Lesson learned:  Sometimes a compromise cannot be reached … move on!

This is Not a Photograph of a Bucket

1304125_Spring_GreenBucket by Karl G. Graf. This is not a picture of a green bucket.  It is a visual interpretation of a sore back!  Emerging spring flowers and plants are always a welcomed sign of the coming warm spring months.  They are also an indicator of a lot of “get down on your knees” and work which contributes to my annual stiff and sore back.  Happy Spring!

The image is simple.  A green bucked composed in the lower right power point of the image.  Emerging new growth and last year’s dead leaves comprise the remainder of the photo.  Processing was very minor, just a little contrast, a little brightening of the bucket, and a little darkening of the edges.

Praying Mantis

130412_Morris_Preying Mantis by Karl Graf. I am captivated by sculptures … all kinds.  This is a giant wood sculpture of a Praying Mantis in Morris Arboretum’s (Philadelphia, PA) new “Bugs” display.  I encourage anyone in the area to make a visit.

My challenge for this day’s shoot was to visualize in Black and White.  The Mantis’ warm brown wood tone against the bright blue sky with a couple of white puffy clouds provided the contrast that I was looking for.


130412_NYC_Atlas by Karl G. Graf. Most times I go to NYC with my camera in tote, I walk by this statue of Atlas holding the globe.  I’ve tried to shoot it in various lighting conditions without much luck.  I’ve shot it on bright clear days where the sun blows out the highlights.  I’ve shot it on cloudy days in the shade without significant contrast.  This day the statue was in partly cloudy light.  The highlights were not blown out and the shadows had adequate detail.  Persistence pays off.


Window “Shooting”

130412_NYC_Shoes#1 by Karl G. Graf.

Many, many times I see something interesting, then just walk by.  Afterwards I kick myself for not taking the time to explore and shoot.  Walking down a street in NYC, my good friend Doc and I spotted these fashion shoes and stopped in our tracks.  Our wives patiently waited as we took photographs.  Something is wrong with this picture … the usual scenario is the reverse.

Even though the background was in red, I visualized this in B&W when I took the image.  I worked the image to try to capture the American Flag reflecting in the store window.