This photo involved more digital manipulation than I am used to. However, I like the end result. I could take it much further but I am not entirely comfortable with that yet. Would love to hear your comments.
What is the photo of
Stunted pine trees
When was the photo taken
June 2005, at noon
Where was the photo taken
Troodos Mountains, Cyprus
Why was the photo taken
There was an immediate appeal; the stunted pine trees looked like they had a story to tell. They looked beaten from the harsh weather. I wanted to capture that.
Why was this composition chosen
The opening of the trees provided an 'eye' into the background, reavealing the other trees and giving a sense of scale and distance. The tree in the foreground provided a nice frame for the image. Although there is another opening to the left, I don't find this distracting. I tried various crops, including one that forced a square crop, but in each case I preferred the original composition.
How was the photo taken
Photo was taken with a Nikon Coolpix 4300. I don't have camera settings. ISO 100; sRBG; jpg format.
How was the photo processed
The levels were adjusted in PS, a contrast curve was added, and shadows/highlights were adjusted followed by a sharpening. I then used the Colour Replacement tool to tediously remove the blue haze around the twigs in the upper part of the photo. I still wasn't entirely happy with the final image (some areas seemed blurred) so I applied the Orton technique as given in the website that Ivan recently directed us too. I applied a screen blend set to opacity 100%. Duplicated the image. For the duplicate I applied a Gaussian Blur set to a pixel radius of 20. I then moved this duplicate over the first image and applied a blend:multiply. I flattened the image and then finally applied another levels set to screen with the opacity down to 20% just to lighten the whole image a little. I also did a little more work on the blue haze around the twigs.
So, let me know what you think. Damian