Friday, February 24, 2012

near and far, before and after

To begin with, the first desert poppies of the spring: 
(Filters used: center focus and tilt-and-shift, which also allows for playing with brightness and saturation.) A few afternoons ago, I went for a hike--iPhone in hand. In Rattlesnake Canyon in the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains here in Tucson, the wildflowers are several weeks early this year.

After last week's initial posting, I thought I should include some more before-and-after comparisons, to show more clearly what snapseed can allow you to do.

So, back to Sabino Canyon, to one of the first scenes that showed me how useful snapseed can be:

To the left, this is the 'before' version, the original iPhotograph.

With the sun behind the ridge, the shapes and colors of the riparian vegetation get lost; it's a 'throw-away' shot that doesn't really convey the landscape...

But then, using the 'drama' filter and then playing with the brightness, contrast, and 'ambiance' functions of the 'tune image' filter, the colors of the cottonwood, ash, and sycamore trees, along with some of the saguaros on the hillside, can stand out. With a bit of cropping, below is the 'after' image, which truly shows what this riparian desert canyon looks like in late autumn in southern Arizona:
Now, an urban scene--St. Louis, seen from the observation deck at the top of the Gateway Arch:

Stitched together using the AutoStitch app, I thought this view of downtown would be fun as a 'toy-miniature' scene. The tilt-and-shift filter was used to 'miniaturize' the cityscape, and then to add the corner vignettes, I chose one of the the 'dark styles' in the center focus filter:

From the Midwest to the Southeast--
a Victorian building in Augusta, GA:
The whimsical placing of a horse-statue on the balcony of a Victorian brick building lends itself to a surreal treatment, so I used the 'grunge' filter, which plays with blur, texture, and color temperature. You end up with a more compelling, atmospheric image, instead of a simple architectural documentation of a streetcorner:

Still in this city along the Savannah River, another Victorian building--the Old Cotton Exchange.

The brick-lined plaza leading from it to the Riverwalk park is home to a weekend farmer's market.

Architecture and pedestrians--the image lends itself perfectly to playing with color and scale, so this time, the tilt-and-shift filter, pure and simple--blur, saturation, brightness, and contrast all 'tweak-able' in this filter:
...true to the spirit of the place, if not totally true to the actual hue of the foliage, 
which was not quite as autumnal as the 'after'-shot would make you think...

Some more Victorian red brick, but now back out West, (yesterday)
to the mile-high mountain mining town of Bisbee,  AZ:
...slight tilt-and-shift 'filtration' of this scene. I didn't meet the owner of this 'roaming-gnome-mobile,' but it's a perfect example of the quirky side of this town. Some residents have bumper stickers that read 'Keep Bisbee Bizarre.' Below is a perfect example of some of Bisbee's 'bizarchitecturural' ornamentation--slightly tilt-shifted:
Red! I must have red! And more red for my found-object-façade!

And then, tucked in between two buildings down in Brewery Gulch...

 ...there's this stairwell--blink and you'll miss it:
A cool enough scene, but it cries out to be 'played with'--to be 'snapseeded:'
ominous sepia...

And now, from near to far, for a bit of geography, with an old French globe, 'grunge-filtered:'

Below is a 'transplanted and snapseeded' scene--
I e-mailed this photo to my iPhone in order to edit it with snapseed, using the tilt-shift filter:

A scene from Seoul's Gyeongbok-gung Palace, where, on a summer afternoon, a tea-ceremony class is being held in the old residence of the Queen Dowager. Shoes off before tea-time--always a must before entering a Korean home, whether that of royalty or of peasants... 

          ...and finally, from Corée to Centroamérica
(this Spanish-globe-shot snapseeded with one of the styles in the vintage filter)

Another 'transplanted' photo--looking from the roof of the Cathedral in León, Nicaragua, out over the eastern part of the city, on to the volcanoes on the horizon, with the colorful Calvario church, one of Nicaragua's 18th-century architectural gems:

is it as honest as 'unfiltered?' 
Or is it like the difference between poetry and prose?
Gratuitous filtering of photos can be just that--gratuitous.
But, the field for visual play is wide open.

What does your eye see that you want other eyes to see?

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