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Robert Watcher

Something out of Nothing

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I am terrible for making something out of nothing. I know - - - you're not supposed to do it. Your supposed to get it right in the camera.

My problem is that I am a visually spontaneous person who, is "into the moment" and far less concerned with whether I have it technically correct or composed perfectly. Mind you - I want it close, so that I at least have content to work with in the darkroom (I processed all of my own colour and black and white work in my traditional darkroom for about 20 years before moving to processing all of my own current work at my digital workstation).

So there are many times, when it takes my creative vision "after the fact" - to make an image that has potential, into a salable image that my clients (and I) will love.

Such a case, was this closing series from a Love Story Session, where I had the shots I wanted, and just rattled off a few at the last minute of the couple kissing. They did this (kissed) without warning. I was walking back to my car and turned to say something to them and saw this. I quickly raised my camera from my position and shot "what was going on" without much concern for taking a different vantage point or refining their kiss or stature by directing and posing them. It didn't really matter to me whether the shot was good or not - I just shot it.

Well, when I started to make my final selection of images, I thought that the content of one of these kiss shots would make a great closing shot. However, there were many elements that weren't pleasing to me - such as the horizon line cutting through their heads. Here is the out of camera image file:



My decision was to clone areas from the water and fill the space above the horizon line, thereby eliminating it and making it appear as if I had shot from a higher vantage point. Finally I added a copied layer, where I added "Motion Blur" on a diagonal - to give a sense of excitement to the image. This was topped off with an extreme crop, offsetting the couple into the left bottom corner.



This ended up being a favorite print of the couples. Of course they thought that I had this spectacular shooting vantage point and had no idea that while the human content was all there in the original - that the technical content as far from perfect. But it is the reason that I "shoot anyway - and ask questions later".

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  1. John Perriment's Avatar
    Wow! Rob, that's a great example of what can be done with a less than perfect starting image. I simply wouldn't have seen the potential of that shot and would have missed the chance of making the wonderful image you ended up with. I'm not surprised the couple loved it!