Posts Tagged ‘digitally manipulated images’

Building Blocks (final)

A great deal of infrastructure improvement work has been occurring in my neighborhood in Maple Bluff over the past several weeks. Part of it involves sewer and water improvements and as a result the contractor staged supplies along the construction route. Some of these supplies are large concrete blocks. To me, the stacks of these concrete blocks looked a great deal like the building blocks that children use. I decided to creatively enhance a photo of these concrete blocks to emphasize this connection and in a serendipitous twist create a contribution to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Twist.

Ed at Sunday Stills has come up with a great idea — take a photo that he has published and modify it as you want to.

I have never seen a challenge like this and it was too much fun to pass up. This is going to get a little wild. I hope you enjoy the ride.

The first photo is very similar to the original. It has one obvious modification. FYI, in addition there are slow changes in the color palette throughout the six photos. Photo’s #2 and #3 show changes in the sky (i.e., including clouds; changing lighting) to add some drama. Photo #4 changes the sky from clouds into something else, something with unusual striping – striping that might be suggestive of a cage. It is in Photo #4 where it appears as though the Ferris Wheel might be having structural problems. Photo #5 shows that a transparent structure surrounds parts of the Ferris Wheel. Why? Perhaps it is there to hold the wheel together. Photo #6 is the Ferris wheel as most everything lets loose and it seems to be flying apart as a result of some type of major gravitational (?)distortion. Notice that seats from the wheel are suddenly flying and the sizes have changed.


#1 Ferris Wheel Fantasies - April 19, 2014 - 1    #2 Ferris Wheel Fantasies - April 19, 2014 - 2   #3 Ferris Wheel Fantasies - April 19, 2014 - 3


#4   Ferris Wheel Fantasies - April 19, 2014 - 5  #5  Ferris Wheel Fantasies - April 19, 2014 - 4 #6 Ferris Wheel Fantasies - April 19, 2014 - 6



The reason I like your shoot and quote challenges is that they often offer me an opportunity to think outside of the box. The challenge asks for the sources of our inspiration. There are plenty of answers to that question — everything from beauty, to grace, to patterns, to symmetry, to humor, to pathos, to joy, to the unexpected juxtaposition and on and on and on. It is pretty easy for me to find things to photograph.

One of my many sources of inspiration is the one demonstrated here — it is the ability that the digital darkroom offers me to take a photograph and use it as the beginning of a flight of fantasy with more than a dollop of whimsy. Thus it is both the photo and the power of the software tools at hand that together make one of the sources of inspiration for my photography and my contribution to Ese’ s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Inspiration.

Filter Forge Flower 2

Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.

~ Augustus Hare

Purple is one of those colors that I have often had a hard time with. By this I mean that a color that I might think of as purple other’s might think of as a blue or a pink. In the interest of presenting evidence of my honest confusion, here are four photos of flowers (one with considerable whimsy) in “The Color(s) Purple” for Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge. The first photo is from a neighbors’ garden; the next three are from our garden (all taken in Maple Bluff, Wisconsin where we still await a true warm spell).

The Colors of Purple2 The Colors of Purple3 The Colors of Purple4

The Colors of Purple1

This photo is of a worker out on the Tarmac at Denver International Airport. He may know which way, but I sure didn’t. The photo is digitally enhanced using Photoshop as well as the low-key filter in Topaz Lab’s “Adjust” Photoshop plug-in.

Worker on the Tarmac - April 15, 2013 - 0001-Edit

Here are three more photos of bald eagles from my recent trip to photograph them on the Wisconsin River.

In the first photo, a mature bald eagle (mom or dad?) watches while two immature eagles appear to be engaged in some type of dominance play.

Bald Eagle Watch - January 10, 2014 - 655

In the photo below, the bald eagle has just touched the water a few feet from the end of the ice that extends from shore in order to pluck a fish from the river.  A duck swimming by observes the moment. This photo required some digital manipulation because it was just a small portion of the original image and it was a little pout of focus. During that process I decided to make it more blue than it actually was in the original photo.

Bald Eagles - January 10, 2014 -632a-Edit-2a

In the third photo, an immature bald eagle flies across the Wisconsin River.

Immature Bald Eagle - January 10, 2014 - 15

The original photo is of a group of Hostas with their flowers almost ready to bloom. I focused on one of the “pre-flowers” because it looked like it sort of had open arms and I could do some things with it.

Hosta - September 12, 2013 - 0228

In the second photo, I cropped the photo to focus on the opened-armed flower. I used Photoshop and as well as Topaz Lab’s ReStyle Plug-in to make the Hosta “Pre-flower” look like a star performer. perhaps at the end of a song and dance routine an adoring audience.

Backyard - September 12, 2013 - 010-(Wheat and Bluebonnets)


The final photo uses principally the “pre-flower” element from the original photo (selected using Photoshop’s Quick Selection Tool, Lasso Tool and cloning tool for clean up) along with some background from the Filter Forge filter mentioned below. The flower’s coloring was revised and enhanced using Topaz Lab’s ReStyle filter. Applying “The Epic Perspective Filter” available using Filter Forge (they are available on the website at no added charge; filters are primarily created by Filter Forge users), I made the pre-flower “star” into what might be many things from a quirky photo of part of a Hosta to what might be a stylized metaphor of a publicity shot or commentary on the ego accompanying stardom? Most likely, it was just me having fun:).

Hosta Epic - September 12, 2013 - 0228

I hope you enjoy my first contribution to Sonel’s Photo-Editing Challenge: Macro and/or Close-up.