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Sunday, May 18, 2008

SoFoBoMo – The Fuzzy Month and now Fuzzy Mind


2 weeks ago I mentioned that I had finally locked in on my SoFoBoMo project, this being a special place that I visit regularity, known to a small circle of friends as “The Land”. There was a concern I had that I may not have enough good photos to make the list of 35 needed and it was a good 1 ½ hr drive to go back there again.


I've talked a fair bit about creativity lately and with the concerns I was having. I wasn't about to let the strictness of my own decisions stifle my creativity (or to find a way out of my firm decision). I have therefore decided to 'augment' a fancy word for changing my mind, the theme to include the 'River' in the title to arrive at a new and hopefully better theme 'The Land' and the River. These 2 subjects are separated by more than 150km and the only physical connection is the lakes at the land eventually feed back to the Ottawa River. The spiritual part that invigorates the mind is that both places have water near by and like many others I can just sit an look at the waterscape for hours.


The book design elements is completely new to me and I am having some fun thinking about how to layout the pages, covers and exploring how book design components all come together to form a cohesive entity. The river idea got me thinking about using the far shoreline, which is the province of Quebec, and taking many overlapping images for many miles along the shore to form one giant panoramic image. I would then use this panoramic shoreline as a horizontal continuous bar along the bottom of each page. As you move along from page to page you will also be seeing the far shoreline moving from west to east. I am trying to decide if I should leave the shoreline in full colour or convert to B&W and set to a lower opacity. I am concerned that if it was in full colour it might detract from the book images. As B&W and somewhat see-through it becomes more a like colour strip and a page design element.

I have taken next week off as holidays to work on finishing the book as I just hate the stress of completing things I enjoy when there are constraints imposed such as deadline. Luckily I do have enough vacation days to carry me through the year.

The image below was taken at the Land from a bluff overlooking several connected lakes which are part of the Rideau River system connecting Kingston to Ottawa.

I liked the wildness of the snarly tree branches contrasting with the of tranquility of the distant landscape peering through the opening in the canopy.

This is one of the images I will be using in the book, I guess you get a sneak preview with this. I thought this might make a good image to tie both themes of the land and the river.

The original image from camera Raw is shown below. I found that there was not enough separation between the colours of the foliage in the foreground. The cedars had more orange and the rest of foliage had more green with some yellow and blue.

I therefore decided to accentuate the difference in the orange in the cedars and the remaining foliage. I changed the hue for yellow to more orange, increased the saturation for orange and the luminance a bit to create more separation.

The colour adjustments available with Adobe Camera Raw are simply great as I can individually adjust the hue, saturation and luminance not only for the primary colours but also the secondary. This is a tool I use quite often to play around with the image. There is no set formula as to what works. Normally, I go to the luminance setting and change each of the colours from min to max luminance to watch where the effects occurs. I find this mode provides the best clues to colour changes in the other 2 modes.

The rest of the foliage and in the the far background, which is mainly green with some blue and cyan, I wanted this darker and less saturated. For the hue I moved the cyan slider towards more blue and desaturated the blue colour a bit. I also reduced the luminance for both the cyan and blue to darkened the foliage and background.

Click on image to see sliders in more detail




The Ottawa river is at maximum water height and there are many parts of low shorelines which are flooded at this time of year from all the snow melt in the feeder rivers up north.


This is taken from the Ontario side of the Ottawa River along its flooded shoreline.

I converted to B&W, cropped a bit of the extraneous side detail and then darkened the image to create more mystery about the hole or is it a house for some large strange creature or hobbit?


Niels Henriksen



A Photographer's Adage


When Jack London had his portrait made by the noted San Francisco photographer Arnold Genthe, London began the encounter with effusive praise for the photographic art of his friend and fellow bohemian, Genthe. "you must have a wonderful camera...It must be the best camera in the world...You must show me your camera." Genthe then used his standard studio camera to make what has since become a classic picture of Jack London. When the sitting was finished, Genthe could not contain himself: "I have read your books, Jack, and I think they are important works of art. You must have a wonderful typewriter."




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