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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cows can Fly


Well almost at least with the help of a giant dragon. This photo was taken inside the enclosed streets that surrounded one block near the centre of Brussels. During the summer of 2003 Brussels was having a Painted Cow festival similar to the 1999 Chicago Cows on Parade festival. Throughout the city there were many full-size fiberglass cows by painted local artist. Each artist decided on their painting scheme and some were strange and weird. Even a coupe of the artists decided to cut up their cow and then recombine the pieces into one of kind groupings. I now wish I had taken more images, but at that time I was a tourist and only had one memory card.

I now no longer worry about the amount of images I take when I travel, as I make sure that I have more than enough storage and batteries.






















The above image was edited to create and even stronger feeling of absurdity. I removed the microphone (see original below) to make it appear that the Jazz singer was waving his hand and laughing because of the flying cow. The image was also straightened and cropped with a slight increase in colour sat for the soft pink walls. I wanted the wings of the dragon to glow more and therefore the saturation and contrast was increased.

Di Booth has some interesting images of these painted cows on his web site.













Brussels has many unique statues throughout the central downtown district.

If you monitor is not set to WB of 6,000K and is also set to high contrast the blue will look a bit too strong.













With the old P&S camera I was using, I had to repair some blown gold highlights on statue. I also decided to darken and increase the blue contrast in the sky, as I wanted this complementary colour to yellow, to better balance in weight of the yellow. The sky was also darkened to keep the viewer’s gaze from leaving the scene with the normal bright shy at the edge.













I find this image interesting because, while almost perfectly symmetrical (each statue is different) around the center vertical axis, it is not till you look around that you realize that there is a missing statue in the central niche. Well it was near lunch time and I guess after a few hundred years of standing around you might get hungry.

If this image was cropped at the rooftops it would make a normal and colourful streetscape and maybe a better image, but I found the rising church spire in the background created an effect like those old “B” grade horror movies were the person grows to become a giant. Well, we each have our own strange way at looking at things.


As an artist and photographer I find the most important ingredient to growth, after learning the basic elements, is to enjoy the images you create. Do not be concerned what others think. Do learn about how you might improve it in the future from other fine photographers, but still enjoy what you create, even if others don’t.

Niels Henriksen



As a change from quoting a Photographer’s Adage, I thought this week I would highlight a fellow photo blogger A Jesse . I enjoy her writings and she has a good collection of horse images on her website. Jesse is participating in the SoFoBoMo project, which I have been debating with myself about participating, but sometimes I feel that I take on too much work. It starts 1 April and with all the snow we still have around, I am not sure I can find an interesting theme. I seem to have my own creativity rut at the moment.

3 comments:

Lynda Lehmann said...

An interesting post, Niels, as always, and I enjoyed your photos of Brussels!

nielsp said...

Thanks Lynda.

When you are being a tourist you are not always thinking about trying to produce good images, most of them were really tourist like, but occasionally the other eye(artistic) does take over.

Niels

A Jesse said...

Niels, first of all, thanks for the generous mention. I am delighted that you enjoy the equine images. I expect to be doing a great more of that again once we move.

I hadn't had a moment to visit your site recently and very much enjoyed this post. I always appreciate your commentary on process and, without fail, I feel more optimistic about shooting after the visit.

I hope you will decide to participate in SoFoBoMo. You could always begin May 1 and show us the beginning of your spring. I know you would produce something very special.

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