Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Channeling My Inner Maxfield Parrish

Wood Nymph  ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

Once again, a blending of the old and new.  The leaf strewn path and very photogenic tree were shot just 48 hours ago, (see below),  while the "nymph" was a product of many days of glamour shots in the mid 1970's.

Photo Bro Dale was ahead of me on the Arroyo Trail at Dripping Springs Natural Area, when he yelled, "Wow, here's a great black and white opportunity! Wait till you get down here and see!" I got down there, and I saw, and I shot: 
Unedited RAF Raw ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

Yesterday, when I sat down at the computer to edit this image, I did indeed take a look at a black and white conversion, and it just didn't do anything for me. So I cropped it, first, to a 4x5 format and began doing simple editing tasks: sharpening, highlight and shadow, structure, etc. I still wasn't excited about it.  My eye kept getting drawn to that light area just visible at the end of the trail where it exited the trees. That held a promise of maybe bringing this photo to life. 

And that's when I entered the rabbit hole.

The editing of the final image took exponentially longer than probably 90% of my edits, because I decided on the spur of the moment to go the "fantasy" route. So much trial and error, with all the tools at my disposal in Luminar Neo. I probably tried them all, along with various textures and crops (at some point it occurred to me the tree trunk leaning off to the left was a distraction, and went with a square crop... better for Instagram anyway) and overlays to make it a cohesive whole. About 2 hours later I decided it was a completed work. I hope it was worth it.

Of course, if I'd tried this on another editing program from, you know, the "big guys", it not only would have taken longer... much longer, I would probably also have a broken window in the office where the computer was defenestrated, and the hair I've been growing out since last spring would have been pulled out and laying on the floor by my chair.

So, If you're frustrated with the needless complexity of your current editor, and want something much simpler and intuitive, you've still got a few days (5) to save some money on Luminar Neo Subscription or Lifetime License. The Secret Sale ends next Monday morning at 8AM ET.  And as always, if 20% off isn't enough for you, use "DanGauss" at check out for an additional $10 off, and "PHOTODAN" for yet another 10%. Is that nuts, or what? Click the link above, or the ad in the sidebar, or below.

And if you're wondering if there was an area along this trail that gave me a satisfying black and white image, well, wonder no more...

Trees in Bondage ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site


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