Some days when you set out deliberately to make some photographs, the muse is just not there (she obviously slept in). It is times like this that the weather is not cooperating and the landscapes you want to photograph look like “blah”, the people you intended to photograph did not show up or look “blah”, or maybe you just feel like “blah”.
Rather than suffer through a “blah, blah, blah” kind of day I sometimes turn my attention to the local details around me. This is particularly interesting when I am staying somewhere while travelling, but it works around home too. What I do is look around for “Found” objects.
Found objects are local details of just about anything in the local environment. By disciplining myself to look at the light, the shapes, shadows and textures of the found object I can often compose a photograph and save the session from being one of disappointment.
Often, even after they come out of the camera and after the basic processing steps, many of these found objects still look a little bit
dodgy uninspiring. Additional work mining the value out of them may still have to be done in post processing. I select the most compositionally promising images out of the batch and see how to work them to make them interesting. Often, this involves trying to replicate the feelings I had about the image that inspired me to record it in the first place. (it can sometimes be useful to delay the processing of these kinds of images until you have some time to think and experiment with them).
With the abundance of processing plug-ins now available for Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop, not to mention the number of standalone software products out there, often an intriguing interpretation of your image is just a few short clicks away. One product that I use quite often is Nik Color efex. It has an abundance of treatments that can had a spark to an otherwise lacklustre image. Another new offering that I am starting to experiment with is the offering by onOne Software called Perfect Photo Suite 6. (I will give a review of this product in the near future after I have had some time to play with it a bit more).
Regardless of the software you use, pushing the envelope a little bit can help out by stretching your boundaries. You might even find a new “look” for your images that is an expression of your developing style. But the important thing, and the real key to getting these small gems, is to get out there and make the photographs in the first place, even if you do feel “blah”. You might just end up feeling a whole lot better about your day after your do.
If you want to see more of my found images, just click on any of the photos above and you will be whisked away to my Details gallery.
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