Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday's Photolife--editing

Wednesday's Winner: This was my first time using Random.org. It was so nice. I assigned everyone numbers according to how many points they earned, then plugged those numbers into Random and voila! Today's winner is testament to blogging, tweeting, and facebooking to get extra points and so more chances to win. Congrats to Samantha Vérant.  Email me at lacmoss (at) gmail (dot) com with your address, and I'll send the book out to you. It's actually the one that Beth is signing in Wednesday's picture.

On to the Photolife:

I love a good photo shoot. I think I've told you that the k-check of the shutter snapping calms me. I can find peace puttering around the yard, lying on the ground, or cozying up to a tree capturing little moments in time. I'm actually a bit of a purist. I like the shot I take to be the final one I'm going for. BUT. Lots of them aren't. Sometimes, to get what I want, I have to make it happen on the computer.

Here's a shot from one of our recent snow storms. You should have seen the splits I did to get it. Very acrobatic. This is the raw shot. It's really nothing special, but I had the bare bones of something to work with.

Here's a cropped and doctored version. It's natural and you may prefer it, but what I wanted was to highlight the leaf.
So... In this one, I photoshopped it in layers maximizing the color of the leaf and minimizing the color of everything else. Now the viewer's eye goes straight to the leaf. Its impact is much more powerful.

Application to Writing? I think of the photo shoot as a sort of rough drafting. It's wonderful to get things right in that first draft, but not everyone has that particular knack. I have a well known author friend who writes in such a way that his first draft is his final draft (other than minor copy edits). He insists that it keeps the writing fresh. I agree (mostly). It's like getting the framing, angle, and lighting perfect in a shot when you're taking it or being able to do minor edits to get it (like in the 2nd picture). I wish I could do it in my writing, but I'm much better at taking my raw draft and layering and tweaking to craft what I want. Some effects* (like in the last version of the photo) are only available through editing. Not everyone will like it better, but some will. It all depends on what you, as the author, want.

*An example of this in writing would be things like flashbacks or interwoven plot lines.

17 comments:

Patti said...

Great analogy Lois, I loved the second photo.

That's amazing that his first draft is his final copy.

lotusgirl said...

Thanks. Yeah. He's got mad skills.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Awesome! Editing photos AND writing is where the true magic lies for me. I love the photos you shared here. Really gets your point across. :)

Jenn Johansson said...

Great post! I love the comparison to drafting a novel. So cool :)

lotusgirl said...

Michelle, Thanks. There's so much you can do with editing. I appreciate all your Photoshop coaching over the years that meant I could edit that picture the way I wanted.

Jenn, Thanks. I love the drafting in writing and in photography.

Danyelle said...

You are so talented!

I think the wonderful thing is that everyone's way of writing comes in a whole variety of ways. Each has its own pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses.

T. Anne said...

That last shot is amazing!

Emy Shin said...

I love the shots -- they look really beautiful.

R.S.J. said...

Multi-talented! Love your photolife comparisons. And never in this life will I be able to write a passable first draft. Thank goodness for revisions:)

Heidi Willis said...

I thought the first photo was a jellyfish at first! :)

I love the unique angles. I get stares from neighbors all the time as I'm sprawled on the ground, but hey - whatever for a good photo, right?

I love seeing the progression, too, and the analogy is spot on!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love your take on this. For me, it all about pre-planning. Like with my writing, I like to visualize the image I'm going for so I don't have to do much editing in photoshop. This is where the similarities end for me. I hate editing in photoshop, but love editing my wip. :)

lotusgirl said...

Danyelle, I agree. We're all different, and we all have different processes.

T. Anne, Thanks.

Emy, I like it when that happens.

RSJ, I am also very thankful for the revision process. If I could only get it right!

Heidi, I get those same looks--sometimes from my own family.

Stina, I used to be better about preplanning shots, but when I'm having to speed shoot (like when touring some place with my family), I just get what I can and move on. I've gotten much better at photoshop from those kinds of things. I still prefer getting it right from the beginning if I can.

Susan R. Mills said...

First, those are all amazing pictures. Second, I'm like you. I consider my first draft more of an outline of sorts. Then, I tweak until it turns into what I want it to be.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great analogy, Lois!

Amie Kaufman said...

Great anaolgy! I'm not much good at framing pictures, but a couple of my friends are keen photographers and I love watching the splits and the contortions and the leaning out over heights to catch images!

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

Yay! (I think I may have threatened some people too!!) A graphic designer, I love the analogy between photoshop editing and writing. We need to polish our MSs up! Make them shine! Make them pop! (And give them layers too...)

Patti Lacy said...

I LOVE this analogy and have TOILED and LABORED over my edits on every one of my four books.

Not so hard as I LOVE this process:)

Now the pulling blood from a collapsed vein, first draft?

Ugh.

Patti