Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them. — A.A. Milne

― Artistic Expression ShowcaseWhen the Koi Won't Kooperate, KOMPOSITE! :D

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Charles Haacker
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When the Koi Won't Kooperate, KOMPOSITE! :D

Post by Charles Haacker » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:14 am

There's a lovely, lovely place in Lincoln called the Sunken Gardens. I've only been there once, briefly, at the worst time of day (pretty much high noon), but on the way out I walked by the Koi pond. What drew my attention was the blinding reflection of the sun on the water. There was a water lily on a stalk, so I maneuvered to try to place the reflection behind the flower, for back-light-there-is-no-light-like. But the Koi. The furshlugginer Koi. They were swimming, like, randomly. Stupid fish. There were signs warning of the direst consequences for feeding them and anyway I hadn't anything to offer them. Stupid fish. AND they were roiling the surface, disturbing and moving my carefully placed reflection. Ah, nuts, I said, and shot, I dunno, a dozen or so, mostly concentrating on keeping the reflection behind the flower. (These were not shot with a polarizer, by the way. I have one but didn't put it on. I think the murky water may add to the picture.)

When I got back I was mildly surprised to discover that a couple were not that bad (a cautionary tale for those who delete in the camera: don't). This first one had this lovely big Kalico Koi. I edited it and was not un-happy, but I knew that vast empty space at the top was, um, empty. I tried a crop from top but it ruined the composition.
DSC07523.EMlr.jpg

So I looked at some of the others and found this one. It had 3 or more visible fish, including filling the space at the top, but my gorgeous Calico wasn't there, plus the (stupid) fish had created a strong ripple that disturbed the reflection and partially washed out the lily. Grrr.
DSC07526.EMlr.jpg

"But wait," I said (I often talk to myself since I am the only one who will listen,) "What might I be able to do in Photoshop?" And I answered myself (I do that too): "Lots!" :| Hence the kompleted Koi komposite:
DSC07526-Edit.EMlr.jpg

Selecting that calico Koi in the murk was interesting. I think it's pretty seamless, even magnified. Then I addressed the slight washout of the flower by borrowing the blossom from the same master, the one with the calico, and ever so slightly enlarging it to cover the washed out one. I think it's a pretty decent job. What do you think? ;)
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Post by minniev » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:30 am

Nice work Chuck. A convincing composite.

The magic of these tools is amazing. I will gladly fork over my $10 a month to Adobe for the chance to move a koi! Or a piece of trash, Or a flower.
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Post by rmalarz » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:56 am

Very nice work, Charles. Just as an aside, I've never discarded any photos I've taken, film or digital.
--Bob
Charles Haacker wrote:There's a lovely, lovely place in Lincoln called the Sunken Gardens. I've only been there once, briefly, at the worst time of day (pretty much high noon), but on the way out I walked by the Koi pond. What drew my attention was the blinding reflection of the sun on the water. There was a water lily on a stalk, so I maneuvered to try to place the reflection behind the flower, for back-light-there-is-no-light-like. But the Koi. The furshlugginer Koi. They were swimming, like, randomly. Stupid fish. There were signs warning of the direst consequences for feeding them and anyway I hadn't anything to offer them. Stupid fish. AND they were roiling the surface, disturbing and moving my carefully placed reflection. Ah, nuts, I said, and shot, I dunno, a dozen or so, mostly concentrating on keeping the reflection behind the flower. (These were not shot with a polarizer, by the way. I have one but didn't put it on. I think the murky water may add to the picture.)

When I got back I was mildly surprised to discover that a couple were not that bad (a cautionary tale for those who delete in the camera: don't). This first one had this lovely big Kalico Koi. I edited it and was not un-happy, but I knew that vast empty space at the top was, um, empty. I tried a crop from top but it ruined the composition.
DSC07523.EMlr.jpg
So I looked at some of the others and found this one. It had 3 or more visible fish, including filling the space at the top, but my gorgeous Calico wasn't there, plus the (stupid) fish had created a strong ripple that disturbed the reflection and partially washed out the lily. Grrr.
DSC07526.EMlr.jpg
"But wait," I said (I often talk to myself since I am the only one who will listen,) "What might I be able to do in Photoshop?" And I answered myself (I do that too): "Lots!" :| Hence the kompleted Koi komposite:
DSC07526-Edit.EMlr.jpg
Selecting that calico Koi in the murk was interesting. I think it's pretty seamless, even magnified. Then I addressed the slight washout of the flower by borrowing the blossom from the same master, the one with the calico, and ever so slightly enlarging it to cover the washed out one. I think it's a pretty decent job. What do you think? ;)
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Post by LindaShorey » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:25 pm

I think you did a great job! The murky water is a super counterpoint to the harshly lit plants above. A very engaging result.

Considering the size of SD cards these days, and ease of download to computer, I can't imagine why anyone would bother to delete shots in-camera. :|
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

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Post by Charles Haacker » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:43 pm

minniev wrote:Nice work Chuck. A convincing composite.

The magic of these tools is amazing. I will gladly fork over my $10 a month to Adobe for the chance to move a koi! Or a piece of trash, Or a flower.

Thanks, Minnie! I too am more than happy to spend the dough to have the tools to do the things that were pretty near impossible back in "the day." I rarely saw a composited picture that I couldn't tell. There's a certain blandness to something that's been airbrushed, unless done by a very skilled artist, and I could never afford the most skilled. What we can do now is just mind bending, to the point that there is concern that evidence or news pictures could be truly seamlessly faked, but I also hear there are tools now that can detect when something has been "'shopped."
rmalarz wrote:Very nice work, Charles. Just as an aside, I've never discarded any photos I've taken, film or digital.
--Bob

Thanks Bob. I've still got bazillions of negatives someplace (having moved I don't know where) but I don't think I have the fortitude to go through them. I have most of my earliest digital stuff, and I love how relatively easy it is to organize it. Since I started shooting big raw files I've also started culling more, especially since working in Lightroom means that I don't have to save an untouched original because it's right there. If I take a half-dozen shots and I think maybe two are good, at some point I will probably trash the other four just to save disc space.
LindaShorey wrote:I think you did a great job! The murky water is a super counterpoint to the harshly lit plants above. A very engaging result.

Considering the size of SD cards these days, and ease of download to computer, I can't imagine why anyone would bother to delete shots in-camera. :|

Thanks, Linda. I've seen articles and discussions on the subject. The consensus is as you say, there's no good reason to delete in camera, and good reasons not to. You can't really see on the small screens, even if you enlarge, there's plenty of room on the card, and if you wait until you get them on the computer sometimes you'll find a gem you thought was a clinker.
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:30 am

I really like these, love the back story, but really like these. Have you thought to crop the first to a quarter or less making the lily the main subject? S-
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:45 pm

I agree with Steve's latest comment about making the lily the main subject. It already is for me. Stupendous and breathtaking in itself. Matt
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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:38 am

Matt Quinn wrote:I agree with Steve's latest comment about making the lily the main subject. It already is for me. Stupendous and breathtaking in itself. Matt

Thank you, Matt. I may go back and try it, but I also think it's the main subject now, and I liked the balance with the kalico koi. I take so many single flowers that I wonder if it starts to get boring. :)
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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