Saturday, June 3, 2023

Sculpture - once more

 My last post showed two images and asked, "which do you think is the better one". Beatrice (see her comment) concluded, "there really wasn't enough here to grab my attention." 

I had replied in part, "This is a difficult subject to photograph. There are a number of ways to guide the viewer to what the photographer wants to show. Usually first on that list are guiding lines, there are none in this scene. Another way is to emphasize with light. In the top photo a slight vignette attempts to do that. Frames are a good way to lead the eye. The subject here, the sculpture, is a frame and thus leads the eye away from itself. That plain tree in the background becomes the center of attention and it has not much to offer. 

Let's review how to guide the viewer.

  • Leading lines - none in this photo, so this dies not help.
  • Vignette - slightly dimmed edges help bring the emphasis to the center. That is typically done in post-processing, although some camera lenses do this because of their design. The center here is not the subject, so this doesn't do much for this photo.
  • Using a frame - that works, unfortunately, the subject is itself a frame and thus leads away from itself.
  • Lighten the subject or darken the background. That is another way and I darkened the background in the first image below in post-processing. In a studio this is easy, outdoors not so much, waiting for a cloud to come by and shade just the background is an approach, but not for me and not in this situation.
  • Blur the background - A standard technique used by photographers. Just open the lens wider. Not for this photo. I was using a smartphone and the aperture on those are fixed. Here already at f/1.8. But the vey short focal length, 4 mm, gives a wide depth of field. Blurring the background can also be done in post-processing and I have an example below.
Here are my reworked photos:

To darken the background I selected the sculpture so I could keep it lighter. As you can see, I did not do a very good job and it looks "artificial".

Again I selected the sculpture and made the selection a separate layer. Then I blurred the image "underneath". 
The trouble with that approach is that the blurred layer also widens the sculpture and that shows in the image. A little bit of this is ok, but unless masking is carefully used, this also gives fake looking images.

Hare is my version with a little bit of vignetting, background darkening and background blurring. 
Now what do you think? It is still a tough subject to photograph. Maybe another day, with my big camera ...

.:. © 2023 Ludwig Keck

Wednesday, May 31, 2023


 Here are two photos of the same sculpture. Which do you think is the better one?

.:. © 2023 Ludwig Keck

Saturday, April 8, 2023

April showers

 ... do we really have to wait until May?

April can be so fickle. Temperatures in the mid 80s one day, mid 40s the next. Gorgeous sunshine then rainy weather. This is my second dreary weather post. Sorry for that. Maybe next week ...

.:. © 2023 Ludwig Keck

Monday, March 27, 2023

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Happy Spring!

 A happy springtime to you! 

Here are some cheerful photos to celebrate spring. They were taken in winter, it is difficult to tell one from other at times around here.

.:. © 2023 Ludwig Keck

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Enhancing a Daffodil

 Over in my other Café Ludwig blog I did a mini-semi-tutorial on enhancing a photo of a flower. It is daffodil time, of course, so that is what Greasepaint for a Daffodil is all about. The end result is a comparison like this:

No, the slider does not work here. You can click the image to hop over to the other site.

If you find that post useful or interesting, I sure would like hearing about it.

.:. © 2023 Ludwig Keck

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Waiting for the Light

 Sometimes I have fun looking for interesting details in my photos and art. The cut-outs of those parts I call "glimpses".  Here is one such "glimpse". 

This "glimpse" is from a cafe art photomanipulation that I called "City Street". That image in turn was derived from a photograph that I named "City at Dawn". Please click the links to see the images.

.:. © 2023 Ludwig Keck