For this project I am tasked with reviewing images and cropping the original image. It states in the coursework “you may find that, by having to find different pictures within photographs you have already taken, you look at images in a fresh way”
For this project I have used 3 images taken on a very recent trip to Berlin. I trust this will not fall outside of the remit of the project. I have used these images because I have completed the final drafts and already sent them to Alamy image library. I wanted to have take a fresh look at the images and see, using the course as a prompt if I could alter or improve on the images. I want to be clear that the images taken in Berlin were taken from the viewpoint of being sold for stock and also for the benefit of material for my study. I am therefore comfortable using these images.
The first image was captured at the Romany memorial near the Reichstag. I came across an elderly lady playing an accordion……
I have some issues with this image. I should have taken it in portrait mode. I can’t change that now. I was conscious at the time of capture that the lady consented to the image being taken after I made a contribution. I did not wish to offend or overstay my welcome. Additionally I wanted to ensure photographers that followed me were not refused the same opportunity due to my behavior. There are some issues here. The tree behind the woman makes a perfect edge for the image. This will remove the two people on the left of the frame that are causing a distraction. A further crop on the right will remove the lady with the blonde hair which is very bright in the frame and causing a distraction to my eyes. I want to focus on the lady, her face and retain some of the detail in the beautiful accordion. I am a big fan of square or squared pictures. I don’t know why it just really pleases me. Annoyingly buried in my camera menu is the opportunity the use a square format. However I was not travelling alone and as stated I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. A good idea would be to weigh up the scene, set the camera up and then make an approach. However, the two women on the right moved into the frame as I was just focusing and in a major city at a weekend distraction in backgrounds is always likely to occur. So, I need to crop and I want to complete my image in a square format…………
OK. I am now finding this image more pleasing. The woman to the right I may try to clone out but that’s not for this part of the course. I now have the tree making a frame on the left as I wanted. The detail in the accordion has been kept. Had I planned this shot as suggested earlier it is likely to have looked very close to this. The disadvantage is that by failing to select the correct aspect ratio at the time of capture I have reduced my file size limiting the print size.
For my second image I would kindly ask you to ignore the distractions at two corners of the frame. This is an error on my part and meant the image needed cropping anyway. However……
Aside from the errors on my part here are the reasons for cropping this image. This picture for me is about lines and colour. I find the image here is lost in the periphery and it is needs cropping to bring the image to life. The “H” on the number plate is distracting and adds no detail to the image. The badge on the panel needs to remain because it gives the viewer clear information on what the lamp is attached to and creates a link between the car (Trabant) and the Berlin Wall which is in the background. I like the symmetry between the colour of the car and a similar shade of blue on the wall. Oh dear. We are back to square format again…….
I am satisfied I now have a clean image. All non essential information is removed (including my sleeve and camera strap) leaving the lamp which caught my eye initially, the car badge and the symmetry between the blue wall and the blue car. This was quite straight forward to crop however the next image proved to be a far more testing exercise….
Concrete columns at varying height cover a large area. This is the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
I took a number of images of the memorial. The columns provided a real opportunity in the late afternoon light to create some very surreal and abstract images. I found this particular image fascinating to crop. The ingredients of the image are limited to shades of grey, shallow curves, light and shadow. I want to demonstrate how I approached this and provide as conclusion that there is more than one satisfactory image contained within this picture. Using crop, rotation and a third party plugin (Radlab) I have altered the final images. Some attempts worked others didn’t…………
I studied this picture before making any adjustments. I did so for probably 30-40 minutes. What I established was was that I wanted to enhance the contrast and shadows (not part of the exercise) but also explore angles. Could I alter the image into something else. Could I make the path into a wall and the vertical stones into a path? How would the shadows add to the image. Would adjustments make the image more powerful? This took some time…..
I decided to remove the area below the column on the left. I felt this may be distracting so I cropped it. Did it improve the image? I don’t believe so. Time for squares!….
Now I feel we are getting somewhere. The loss of the columns on the right appear to have placed a greater emphasis on the curves in the pathway – this is a good thing. What happens if I add some contrast…..
I like this crop and adjustment. It has good contrast and my eye is forced down the undulating path. I needed a person at the end of the path but it was not forthcoming….what else can I do?
No – This does not work. There is nothing in this image that excites me, it is flat. Perhaps my eyes have become adjusted to the contrast on the previous image…
This has potential but it is to straight. The width at the path the top right of the images is irritating me but an adjustment may help. Perhaps if I narrow the width of the path at the top right hand corner….
Now that’s better. The undulating path is actually making me feel the incline and decline as I view the image. Like this….perhaps and adjustment and rotation may help…
Yep I like this. The rotation has worked. I am still wondering if I can achieve the path becoming a wall and the wall becoming a path. It will not happen this way. Lets try something different
Getting near my goal. The gravel maybe a problem. However if the viewer is unfamiliar with the subject matter or the original image, in other words, views this is isolation may want to seek their own interpretation of what this image is.
Adding contrast now adds to the curvature or should I say undulations in the path. This suggests that some images where curves are wanting prominence may benefit from an increase in contrast. Like this a lot. I wander if I move the path (now wall) to the left?…………..
I think that’s my mission accomplished. The subject matter has provided me with a very good starting to point to continue being creative after the shoot. I could not have performed such manipulation on my first two examples. I have however managed this by ensuring I captured a well exposed original image and gave myself enough subject matter and room to be able to selectively crop. I could of course created this image within camera. So a balanced view would be to move the camera to different angles at the time of capture. The vertical horizontal nature of the memorial perhaps confined me to take a landscape image.