Snapshot to Photograph

IMG_4581.JPGI took this quick snapshot from the hip and without thinking much about it. I noticed the scene as I was walking past, and just shot reflexively.

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I shot again as I got closer, and then a third time. All the images were way off level, badly cropped and not especially interesting. I was tempted to delete them, but decided to let them be while I went on looking for something better.

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On another day, as I was looking through my shots while in less of a hurry, I was first attracted to the bright colors of the flag, but when I looked more closely, I began to zero in on the relationships of the figures, and the color in the sunglasses on the figure on the left. Those great boots, also interested me.

I zoomed in for a closer look, and when I saw the center figure’s eyelashes, and all three expressions, I was hooked. I wasn’t entirely sure it would work, but decided to try rotating the image to level it up. It worked, and I liked what I was seeing.

I then cropped it, and began playing with it in Snapseed, using the TuneImage/Ambiance, and other sliders to open up the shadows and sharpened it a bit using the Details/Structure slider. I framed it with Frames, changed it to black and white, added a blue filter to lighten the sky, then, back in the Tune Image menu, I added some warmth, and there it was, the photo of the day for my Instagram gallery, @johnfarnsworthphotographer.

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I’m glad I didn’t delete the original. I do wish I could give a more blow by blow account of the way I proceeded with it, but I don’t keep a record of the steps I take, and seldom repeat myself exactly, preferring to just play with the sliders, dodging, burning, adjusting, caressing and manipulating until I find the photograph lurking in the snapshot.

As Ansel Adams said: “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

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