This post is about a work in progress – the starting point for new designs. I have a rough idea where it’s heading, but there may be more than one path to explore. 🙂

Mostly I try to make my photographs look natural. That’s not always a straightforward matter of clicking and printing. Cameras nowadays have a huge range of settings, and printers also have a habit of “auto-correcting” and making decisions for you. Even the paper you print on makes a difference.

Also, how the camera records a scene is not necessarily how you saw it. Your eyes adjust to different lighting conditions, and while your camera does that too, it’s not always in the same way. The camera’s judgement is not foolproof. Getting the colour and light levels right can require white balancing, contrast, gamma and other adjustments. To some extent these are the digital equivalents of the tweaks I used with film photography – adjusting developer formulae, processing times, using different film and paper types, and so on.

Red Bass Fishing

This photo takes that process a step further.
As taken, the Bass Rock could hardly be seen through the slightly pink, mostly grey mist.

Making its outline clearer involved (in Spinal Tap terms) turning the volume up to 11.
In this instance, I think it is a nice effect, and unlike many photos that ramp up the colour, it rescues details rather than losing them.

Then we get into the realm of airbrushing. Yes, I admit it. I occasionally do it. That distracting detail or photo-bombing person in the background? Gone. And as for that series of group photos where every picture has somebody’s eyes closed or looking sideways or sticking out their tongue? Sometimes transplanting heads is the only way.

Beyond that, I tend to think of the pictures not as photographs per se, but as images.

solar redshank
redshank in flight … solarised

My images are transformed and redrawn in a variety of ways. The picture on the right is the digital equivalent of the technique known as solarisation. Other images may end up looking like they were drawn or painted. And sometimes they have been, on paper or on screen. These images are the basis of some new cards and prints, which for lack of a better collective title, I am going to call “sketches” …

P.S. This is a photograph. It has been mistaken for a painting. It was taken on a misty day when the spray from the stormy sea gave the landscape a watercolour like quality, fading into the distance …