A while ago we went to a seal sanctuary where hurt and sick seals are rehabilitated and, hopefully, released back to the wild. It came to feeding time and, obviously, a lot of fish was involved. Well you can imagine the delight of the seagulls who dive bombed the fish, the seals, us. I’m always surprised at how big they are in ‘real life’, i.e. when they’re just two feet away from you. This was one such bird, perched very close, slightly higher than us and looking very menacing.
The seagull in flight in the gallery section is from the same trip – and at some point there maybe a guest appearance from a heron too.
What has increased the ‘menacing nature’ of this photo is that I cropped it to a common widescreen film format; 1.85:1. This puts the birds eye on a horizontal third, where our eye is drawn to. But it’s also slightly off centre destabilising the image slightly. I like to experiment with different shaped croppings occasionally, I still like square, but that’s used a lot and I’ve been really into cinematography lately so am looking at things in a widescreen way (‘Old style’ TV being 4:3, widescreen TV being 16:9, common cinema widescreen being 1.85:1 or very wide at 2.39:1 – there are a lot more than see Wikipedia for more!).
One of these days I want to do some funky vertical images – watch this space for those!
Some people struggle with the idea of altering images with Photoshop (and yes I’m using ‘Photoshop’ as a verb too, seems the thing to do nowadays). For me it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you end up with a beauftiful or striking or thought provoking etc, etc, image. I’ve seen some amazing images that are completely computer generated – does that make it any less ‘art’. I’ve seen some ‘art’ that is simply just four squares painted in different shades of red – is that art?
The film ‘Wall-E’ was beautiful in my opinion and deserves a nomination for its cinematography – note, not in the CGI category but proper cinematography. In fact they had one of my favourite real world cinematographer’s, Roger Deakins, as a consultant.
So on this blog you’ll see examples of photos with subtle changes to enhance them and you’ll see stuff completely computer generated too – the same goes for videos and animations. I just love art in its many forms.
So yes, this image was changed fairly heavily – but how?
Well, what better way to start than with a photo of something used for recording. I took this when recording some ‘demo’ songs with a couple of friends. One of those friends, Jen Ledger, has gone on to be the drummer for the Christian rock band ‘Skillet’ – not through this demo I might add!