Sharing moments in time…

Photograph or Art? Both?

Okay – so for the last few days I’ve been watching some tutorials and ideas on how to turn photographs into “works of art”.  While I have normally been a proponent of “natural” processing and keeping things realistic, I wanted to try my hand at some different techniques to add a more artful flair or increase the interest of some of my  photos.  Yesterday I tuned in to a webinar with Bobbie Goodrich, a wildlife photographer from Santa Fe who has a background as a painter and who creates some very interesting effects with her photos.  I decided do a quick attempt by applying some of her techniques on one of my photos.  I’d be interested in any of your comments on my processing as related to the original photo which I’ll put below.  PS – My wife has already told me that she prefers the “originals” but I think there is plenty of room for other interpretations – besides, its fun to mess around with them and see what I can come up with.  Here is the “artful” view of a leopard sitting in a tree contemplating his tail…….

Leopard Tale

Leopard Tale

The top photo has the background removed in favor of  a colored gradient and the leopard and tree have been kind of “painterized” to give it more of an artsy flavor.  The basic photo (with just some minor processing) is shown below – what do you think??

As we saw it....

As we saw it….


15 responses

  1. Original. Context is important the fixed could be anywhere, the original seems more realistic.

    July 9, 2014 at 7:06 am

    • Thanks Victor – I like the context also but sometimes it gets too “busy” for a portrait that focuses on the animal. I’m trying to find a way to do both. This attempt was trying to capture the drama of the scene more than the reality. I appreciate your comment!

      July 11, 2014 at 5:53 pm

  2. I like the original because we see the leopard in its environment and the colors are beautiful. But I’m biased since I tend to prefer original shots in general!

    July 9, 2014 at 7:25 am

    • Dounia – I normally like the originals also but its hard to focus on the animal with all that was going on in that shot. I knew when I took the photo that it would be fun – with the leopard looking through his tail – but wanted to emphasize it in the processing. I like both shots.

      July 11, 2014 at 5:55 pm

  3. I like what you have done with the photo. It highlights the beauty of the animal and makes one focus on it. Sorry, but I have to disagree with your wife 🙂

    July 9, 2014 at 7:33 am

    • Thanks Colline! I need allies with my wife (she actually told me she likes the way I did this photo – others not so much). I thought it came out pretty nice for a first experiment with this particular process – but I still like the original also.

      July 11, 2014 at 5:58 pm

  4. i really love the edit, mainly because i have safari shots similar to the original but would love to go on a creative course like the one you highlight- very jealous!

    July 9, 2014 at 8:21 am

    • VanillaRock – Thanks so much. I have ALOT of photos of this particular leopard as he was nice enough to spend an entire afternoon with us. I wanted to take some of them (especially the ones with busy backgrounds) and do something different. Its fun to play with the pixels! I appreciate your comment.

      July 11, 2014 at 6:02 pm

  5. As you know I love photo editing, and its such good fun to do, but in this case I like the original one best. I think the edited version would have stood out more on a light background. 🙂

    July 9, 2014 at 9:25 am

    • Hi Amanda! Thanks for the comment – especially from such an experienced editor! I liked the original but it was hard to focus on the animal and his “pose” looking through his own tail so I wanted to highlight that. I actually tried a lighter background version first but when I experimented with the blending modes, I thought the darker version created more focus and created a little more tension. I’ll keep experimenting – and I hope you’ll continue to comment about it. This is a relatively new interest for me……

      July 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      • Thank you Scott for that kind comment. I’m sure you’ll spend many a happy hour playing with your gorgeous photos – its quite addictive! As you say when it comes to hanging on the wall, an arty version is often more appealing. Looking forward to seeing more of your work. 🙂

        July 12, 2014 at 1:43 am

  6. I’m a fan of the original environment – although the other would have an appeal from a décor standpoint

    July 9, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    • Thanks Nora – I love the original as I remember vividly when I first saw the leopard in this position – I knew it would be unusual. That said, one of the things I’m thinking about doing is hanging some of these in my house (or even trying to sell some) – and I want to develop some processes which would allow me to change my normal safari photos into something I can hang in prominent places in the house. Thanks for the comment – the consensus appears to be split about 50/50 on this one!

      July 11, 2014 at 6:13 pm

  7. I like the edited photo. It has a tension and drama that the original photo lacks.

    July 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    • Bobbi – I really appreciate your expert artistic comment! You caught exactly what I liked about the edited version with the word “drama”.

      July 11, 2014 at 6:16 pm

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