A year in the life...

Giacometti shadow
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 - Giacometti shadow - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

So there we were in the Metropolitan Museum and I was taking a picture of the floor. The museum guard kept looking at me, probably wondering what I was up to. It was okay to take pictures in the museum, but most people took pictures of the art, not the floor.

This is what was on the floor -- the shadow of the Giacometti sculpture, distorted and given a new perspective by the spotlight that shown on it. The bad news was that the shadow, on the gray carpet, was just barely visible. But that was a starting point.

I have to confess that I don't use Photoshop. It's always seemed so large, complicated, and confusing (not to mention expensive). For everything you want to do, there seems to be six different ways to do the same thing, with articles and books arguing which of the multiple ways is the best. When people ask why I don't use Photoshop, the simplest answer is that I already have a religion.

Instead, I collect smaller, simpler photo editing and natural media programs and plug-ins. Some are aimed at cleaning up noise or fixing blurred or out-of-focus images. Others are better at manipulating color. If nothing else, each one has at least one trick that the others lack. For instance, one program has a tool meant to remove scratches. I don't use film any more, so there aren't many scratches, but I take pictures of scenes near my house and there are lots of power lines that seem to show up. This program zaps them right out. It's interesting that Photoshop, with its zillion tools lacks this capability.

Getting back to the task at hand. At first, I played with bumping up the contrast in this image, and this helped a little. Then I started adding color. In the end, it took about six different programs, with multiple trips between them to get the final result. This image evolved over several months and went through multiple incarnations. Today, before posting it to this journal, I gave it one final tweak to brighten the colors.


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