‘Winter Walk’ image after some work in Photoshop

A few months ago I entered the following image into one of my club’s (Amersham Photographic Society) monthly print competitions. The judge liked the image but said they found the out of focus bullrush sticking up between the trees distracting (hover your mouse over the image to see the original).

I agree with the judge’s comments (makes a change ;) and, now I think about it, I’m surprised I considered the image finished and entered it in the competition in the first place! However, I got some useful feedback and set about improving my Photoshop skills to make the necessary changes. I removed the offending bullrush and I also turned the figure round so they were walking to the right, and into the image. A few other minor changes and now I do think the image really is finished. I hope you agree that it is a better image after the changes.

Hover your mouse over the image to view the original ‘finished’ version.

‘Winter Walk’ – hover over the image to view the original ‘finished’ version.

A little street photography

I took a little trip to London at the weekend, a festive trip (not Christmas shopping!) with my girlfriend. Naturally I took a camera with me in the hope of some opportunistic street shots. All the images below were taken with my Olympus OMD E-M5 fitted with a Panasonic 14mm pancake lens. 14mm on a Micro Four Thirds camera has a 35mm equivalent of 28mm which, in my limited experience of street photography, I am finding is quite a useful focal length. Additionally, this is a sharp fairly fast lens with a maximum aperture of F2.5 which I find useful.

I have become more confident pointing a camera at people over the last few months and although I have used my full frame DSLR for street work in the past I do think I feel more comfortable with the Olympus due to it being much smaller. Add the fact that it is lightweight, with the 12-50mm zoom that I have is also small and light, and I never notice the weight.

I processed all the images below with Silver Efex Pro 2 from Lightroom. Within Silver Efex Pro I applied the Kodak Tri-X 400TX Pro film type. I love the contrast and I included the grain. A little adjustment was made to control the highlights after applying the film type.

Last Thursday at the Amersham Photographic Society Monochrome Group we had Fabrizio Quagliuso come to give a talk and show some images. I really enjoyed his work and his approach to his projects. A documentary and street photographer who likes to get in close with his edgy images. He’s not afraid to cut someone in half and use imaginative unconventional compositions and I have to say I was somewhat influenced by him in my photography at the weekend.