Photo editing. In a previous post I included a photo I had recently taken of some storm clouds. I wasn’t particularly happy with the picture, as is often the case the picture didn’t really show the scene as I remembered it. A couple of people commented on it, and one said it just needed a bit of editing. This for some reason is something I never think of doing. That’s not strictly true, I had already cropped it to get rid of some powerlines, which counts as editing. I also sometimes use the red-eye removal feature in my camera software. But I never think of changing the colour, lightening or darkening a shot, or anything like that. I really don’t know why. I have basic software for doing so, and in fact I have Photoshop, which I have used a bit, but is so powerful that I feel it’s a bit like using a pneumatic drill when you want to put up a poster.
However, I looked at the photo again, and did do some manipulation. I’m not yet up to speed with all the terminology, and particularly the logic thereof. Why does it keep talking about curves, when what changes is not the lines, straight or curved, but the tones, highlights etc? Still, here below is the original shot:
and here is the re-vised version
I don’t really know how I did it, I just played around until the trees in the foreground were lighter, and tried not to lose the definition in the clouds, they have that lovely billowing look round the edges.
This exercise got me thinking. It used to be said that ‘the camera never lies’, and that may have been true, but is certainly not with the technology there is today. At least, the camera maybe a little bit truthful, but the computer and it’s software can be as false and perfidious as you like. In this situation, the picture I took with the camera, which was reasonably truthful, did not really match my remembrance of the shot, which was presumably therefore not entirely accurate. It is certainly the case that the human brain is selective in remembering elements of a scene, gives more prominence to some than to others, and this is surely often the reason why photos are not as good as you think they should be. All I have done is change the photo to be more like I think I remember the scene, so who is to say which is truth and which is falsehood?
I saw some other beautiful clouds recently while driving, and whilst I was trying to figure out a safe way of getting off the highway I was on and stopping to take pictures, I realised I didn’t have my camera with me anyway. Must try and remember to carry it more often! I’m annoyed at myself really, because I don’t recall ever having seen clouds quite like them. They were a bit like this one here but lots of them scattered evenly all over most of the sky, as if somebody had taken a brush full of white paint to it. I’ve done a quick Google and I can’t find a picture of anything similar.