Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Interiors and exteriors

ISO 100, f/22, 1/13sec
Building: Back of residential apartments in St-Henri

Initially, I went into this alleyway because I saw some graffiti that caught my eye, but I also found this interesting view. I like the multiple frames happening in the picture, and the unexpected view of the sky through the top half of the building. I'm not sure why there is this open space in the upper half of that building. It looks like there might be a staircase that passes through there, but it lets the viewer's imagination wander.

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/40sec
Building: Caisse du Quartier de St-Henri

I have passed by this bank before. It's an unusual building; and it looks quite different depending on what angle you look at it from. It stands to the left of a tall, old Catholic church, which exaggerates the contrast between the two architectural styles. Surprisingly, I did not run into an issues with photographing this bank, probably because I was shooting on a Sunday. I could not find a security guard to get permission, and no know stopped me.

ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/3sec
Location: Residential home

Although not glamorous, I've always liked the view and spatial arrangement of this master bedroom. I like the fact that when you open the door, you face a window which runs 2/3 of the wall length. I chose to shoot this view at the end of the day when artificial and daylight are of similar strengths. I like the mix of colors from the light, and by keeping some of the shades down, I find the eye wanders from the side lamp, to the bed, to the two doors across the street.

ISO 100, f/8, 1/8sec, 1/13sec, 1/15sec, 1/50sec, 1/60sec, 1/80sec
Location: Conference room at Dawson

This image is a composite. I used several images in order to have a perfectly exposed and clear image both inside and outside the window. I chose this view because I love the rich color of the wood and the cream colored bricks of the wall and from the light flooding in from the window.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Composites: View Therapy

Composite images are made up of two or more photographs merged together. In this series, I use as my main image the photograph below of my mother sitting on the window ledge of a condo in New York City.  I find her posture of rest and reflection against the backdrop of the cityscape to be beautiful; and the large windows bring in so much light and view from the outside.

In the following, I use a second image in combination with the main one to change the backdrop. The tools and techniques I use to create these composites are quite simple. I open the main image in Photoshop. Then, I drag the second image into it; use the free transform tool to align and place it correctly in relation to the main image; apply a mask; use the eraser to reveal the layer of the second image; in "trouble" areas, I use the clone stamp to maintain consistent or appropriate colour, tone, shade, texture, and light values; finally, I apply a Gaussian blur filter to smoothen the transitions between pixels. I re-open the images in Lightroom to make some final minor adjustments to the overall image, and voila!

I believe the impact is most effective with this first composite. Both images work well together. Different elements like tone, density, and colour are similar. I really enjoy looking at this image. It conveys such a sense of peace and serenity. On its own, I think the image could be used as advertisement in a meditation or wellness context.

With the last two images, I find the merging of the background and foreground do not flow as well as the first one. In the image above, the vantage point seems slightly off or strange; below, the urban interior clashes with the southwestern landscape. That being said, I have also come across constructions in real life that had that same slightly awkward feeling or juxtaposition. Because of the window views, I can imagine these images in the context of lifestyle or travel photography.

What I learned from doing my first composites?

Composites take a lot of time and planning to compose well, otherwise, they easily look fake and put-together. However, I've discovered that they are fun, exciting and even therapeutic because of all the creative possibilities it opens up. Now, I'm motivated to learn photoshop not just because I need to but because I want to!