Archive for July, 2009

There are times when a little experimenting with Photoshop can be good training in learning how to expand your sense of seeing. Most of the time, I prefer not to use the filters, to me most of them look contrived. From what I have seen many photographers use them to cover up problems with sharpness and exposure.

As a long time photojournalist I prefer sharpness and more of a documentary style approach. But there are occasions when something creative and interpretive can be had and it can enhance the vision of the photographer or at least satisfy the needs of a client who may want something different.

Saba Serengeti Lion - 16x24 Giclee

Saba Serengeti Lion - 16x24 Giclee

Upon my return from a photo trip to Tanzania, Africa I shot a series of wildlife images that turned out pretty well.  I showed them to a client, a safari guide, who wanted a set of large animal prints and photos of Massai in cultural dress to be used in his office lobby, in Arusha. He already had prints that had been displayed for a few years and required something more unique, most notably for the wildlife images.

What I had wasn’t much different from what he had. A little more action and animal behavior and some good images with dramatic landscapes included. They were in the same category as what I had seen in several other safari offices throughout Arusha. They are atmospheric images used to entice walk in visitors to book safari trips.

I knew the display prints were going to be 16 x 24 in size then matted and framed. They would be viewed from a distance of fifteen to twenty-five feet. We looked through perhaps a hundred photographs and he kept coming back to tightly cropped face shots.

Cheetah 16x16 Giclee Print

Cheetah 16x16 Giclee Print

He edited a series of seven wildlife prints but I could tell there was hesitation in his selection. He said he was hoping for something more graphic.

After agreeing to meet again the next afternoon over coffee, at a local shop, I spent that evening playing with Photoshop trying to interpret a different angle on the presentation. The only thing that seemed to work was to use the watercolor filters.

I was not satisfied with brushes, sponges or pallets; they seemed to be more of a distraction. The watercolor filters however gave me something to work with. I tightly cropped the facial features of lion, cheetah, elephant, zebra, water buffalo, giraffe and baboon.

Zebra Bite - 16x24 Giclee

Zebra Bite - 16x24 Giclee

They did not work for hippo, hyena, nor for gazelle. Those just did look right so I scraped them. Showing those images would have degraded the overall presentation even though my client showed interested in those animals.

I was on time for our meeting and gave a short presentation on my computer. It was a success. My client was very happy getting something none of the other outfitters had.

Ngorongoro Baboon 16x24 Giclee

Ngorongoro Baboon 16x24 Giclee

An order was placed for seven wildlife and five Massai cultural images, all 16 x 24 Giclee reproductions printed on a nice matte watercolor paper that enhanced the character of the image and established a professional style of décor for his office space.

Though I will still hesitate in turning to Photoshop filters to alter my images it is comforting knowing that I have the tools to make changes necessary to please my clients if the need arises.

For further views on African wildlife photo safaris please refer to these suggested posts: https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/horizon-of-stars/






All images are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, 2009, All Rights Reserved. No image may be linked to or downloaded without the written authorization of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography.  Prints and or scans are available for purchase or lease. Please contact me through email: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com or through my web site at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com

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A soft amber hued winter sun had just come up, spilling warm light over my neighbor’s house and into my yard. The temperature read minus 32, as I checked on things. Water pipes were OK. No snow last night, just thick hoarfrost blanketing the world outside.

I turned up the heat. This 100 year old log house I live in was just plain cold that morning. 

The idea was to get up early and photograph outdoors. But then I guess I reconsidered when one of my cats wanted to go out and I opened the door. He just backed right up without skipping a step as the frozen air grabbed at his whiskers. He headed back to the furnace and his pillow.

I roamed the rest of the house and headed toward the bathroom last. A flash of light through the icy window caught my eye. A closer look through the frosted glass for a few seconds and I went for my camera.

There next to the window pane were particles of the expanding universe!

Particles - 11x17 Giclee print

Particles - 16x24 - Giclee print

My white car reflected the sun sending a ball of light shinning into the window refracting prisms of color on the edges of the frost. My imagination got the best of me but a new series of images were born.

I worked the situation and shot twelve photographs before the sun hit the window directly. In seconds the frost began to melt changing everything. All those particles expanding from a core of light dissolved in an instant and then it was just my car sitting out in the cold.

It pays to be observant and open to ever the changing light patterns coupled with all the design elements that are wedged into your head. You never know when your creative imagination can grab your thoughts and lead you to the illusive image that’s sometimes right in front of you.

I made it to my computer instead of going out into the freezing winter air.  No guilt. I was just happy to have some new photographs to add to my interpretations of the natural world.

Check out this post for another illusion illustration.


All photographs used in this entry are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, 2009, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photos. Giclee and digital prints are available for home and office décor. Contact: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

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I stepped out onto the lanai with the glow of dawn just hitting the mountains of Molokai across the Pailolo channel. Warm Pacific waters were calm with refreshing trade winds raising the hairs on my legs in the early morning chill.

With a hot cup of kona coffee in hand, I leaned out over the rail, breathing deep, I stared in awe. It has become a ritual.

Morning meditation island style

Morning meditation island style

Several turtles raised their heads in the bay sending ripples across the smooth glassy waters of the cove. A soft rain sound fell from shimmering palm fronds just to the left of my condo. The resonance was as gentle as the early tide washing ashore on the beach rocks.

Birds were already singing this day’s praises. One of my favorites is the White Eye or Majiro, with little lime green colored bodies and bright white circles around their eyes. They jump from tree to tree feasting mainly on those with fruit. Their “white eyes” are stunning. Just for fun we named two that hung out at the cove, Kimo and Mitsu. We watched them each morning while enjoying a peaceful breakfast on the lanai.

Bird action increased as pink light splashed against the cumulus clouds that gathered over the sea cliffs above Molokai. Red billed Luteas and Akepas, small honeycreepers, assembled in the palm trees and chirped their way along the rock retaining sea wall that lined the cove.

Calm seas added to the serenity as sunlight creped across the channel and the island of Maui awoke for the day.

This sound, the tropical scents, these memories are embedded deep into my psyche.  Having been to the islands more than thirty times it is easy to escape into these good times when I need a break from the real world. It is that meditative state of aloha.

Other related posts regarding Hawaii:

 Images used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2009, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. Contact: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

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