Saturday, March 12, 2011

Is it spring yet?

I wish it was — spring. It snowed again this week, the day after we had fog as thick as pea soup (at least, I assume it was as thick as pea soup — I've never had pea soup, I've never really been into peas). So, yes, hey there Weather, I'm ready for spring if you're getting tired or being all wintery.

The calendar indicates that Spring begins on Sunday, 20 March 2011. Living in Michigan — I'm skeptical of this. I suspect it will still snow in April. However, in the spirit of spring, and well, because I was working on cards this week, I've been rifling through my photography.

Last year I decided to take a lot of pictures of the Bradford pear tree blossoms. And so, they sit there in my iphoto, and every now and then I look through them. And a few weeks ago I decided to experiment with the Photoshop, as it were.

When I take pictures, I don't exactly consciously think about all the things that go into an image, like composition, placement, focus, visual focus, balance, color, lighting, atmosphere, oh, and then all those 'photography' concepts. Unconsciously, I'm sure they occur to me. But, a lot of the time when I'm taking pictures the immediate thought is: hey, green focus box, let's come up now, buddy.

When I was taking the pictures of the Bradford pear I wanted close-ups of the blossoms, and was hoping for some cool looking bokeh in the background. The lighting is provided by nature. The best natural light for photography happens in the morning, it changes by the season, but it's after sun-up but before noon. At noon, when the sun is high — the shadows will be severe. When the lighting is atmospheric — the shadows are less severe. Obviously, if you're going for high contrast, then this wouldn't be the lighting for you.

So, yeah, blossom close-ups, bokeh, atmospheric light. My camera is an autofocus, and I just go with that. It's digital, if I don't think it focused the way I wanted, then I can just take more shots from the same angle. I have a memory card and plenty of rechargeable batteries.

The first shot is the original photograph. The second shot is the result of cropping, manual color adjustment, manual brightness adjustment, manual application of a filter, and layering effects.

before



"spring nostalgia" by Sarah Knight
There's something about the way the background blurs, combined with the color palette, and the subject matter that just reminds me of images from long before I was born (yes, I know, to some of you I am so just a kid) but to me the image I created reminds me of sixties photography. You can find "spring nostalgia" in my 'sarahknight' shop on etsy.
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Now, on a related but different note...
A large part of my week was consumed by the creation of an Etsy Team: Artists


It's a treasury team for Artists. If you've ever read my etsy profile, you may know that I've been making art since I was a toddler. So, I don't just think of art as paintings, drawings, sculptures, or statues. Photography is art. Collage is art. Prints are art. Illustration is art. I could rail off media all day long, but I think you get the point. Art isn't limited to media that happened to exist in the year 1200. Besides, there's ceramics, fiber art, embroidery, art jewelry, fashion art, domestic arts, etc. So, the Artists team is for folks on etsy who make art & are interested in promoting art through making 'artcentric' treasuries.

If you're interested, then come check us out.
And you can see some of our treasuries here.

Have a fun week, and find some art in something!

16 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

I liked the photo unchanged.It has more chararacter for me. Now when you go to mount or mat it it may change the touched up image.

Nancy@A Rural Journal said...

I have so much fun taking a photo and tweaking it with filters and textures, etc...

Sometimes I over do it -- but it's my photo and it's a learning process.

I wish I could afford Photoshop, but I just use an online editor, which works pretty well. :)

Happy Little Trees Studio said...

Both photos are great! I think it's a matter of taste sometimes.

DawnWillBreak said...

I am here in Michigan too and our weather has been the same, today it is pretty miserable about. I love your focusing with the little green box comment. Haha, so true.

Linda R. said...

I love what you did with your photo. I looks lovely..
I am pretty sure sping is here in the desert. Everything is in bloom including my allergies..

Hugs, Linda

Bob Bushell said...

Who is upset by all that snow, you and I, that's who!
Nice to see those petals.

Catherine said...

I don't know where spring is dearest Sarah ~ I know it's not here that's for sure! :(

I love your blossom photos ~ so beautiful! The colors make me happy!

Happy Sunday friend!
xo Catherine

S. Etole said...

Spring hasn't sprung here yet either. But your photos help appease the waiting.

Anna said...

Beautiful images! I like the processing that you've done on your revised version, as it really captures the refreshing, light-filled feeling of spring. We had another storm in WI on Saturday, so spring is but a dream!

ELK said...

those blooms are amazing . love the treatment to it...

koralee said...

I love your blossom photos...it is fun to play a bit with the lens and editing techniques....happy new week to you. oxoxo

yeevon said...

Blossoms!! They are my favourite :D :D I love both the original and the altered version :) :) They have different mood but I still love them!

saverio otranto said...

mmmm.... profumo di primavera..
spring is in the air

Dave said...

I liked your first photo of the blossoms Sarah as the contrast between blossoms and background show better. Do you think? - Dave

Glenda said...

I like both photos actually!! Beautiful - and so spring-y! You are blessed with awesome talent as a photographer and artist; you add color to the world!!

eileeninmd said...

Great post and I love the pear blossoms. I am looking forward to spring and we are seeing little signs slowing arriving here in Maryland.