Photography Project: Natural Abstracts with a Twist

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Peter and I went to the Eastern Sierras to photograph fall color.  Peter created the punch list, and I went along for the ride.  I should have known better.  Peter’s preferences are grand landscapes – sometimes the same location over multiple days at different times.  I get bored.  Oddly, boredom helps with my creativity.  As I’m standing in the bitter cold before the sun comes up, camera on tripod, pushing the shutter over and over to capture the same scene in different light, all the while knowing that Peter is making a better image……I start to look around and play.This abstract is from Convict Lake.

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This is the iconic photo of Convict Lake

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After I took the iconic photo about 500 times, I changed lenses and zoomed in for the abstract.  Can you find it?  Its the reflection of the sunlit mountain in the lower right corner of the frame.

When I started processing, I got bored looking at the brown colors.  I kept asking myself, would I hang this in my house?  The answer was a resounding “no”.  So I started to play in one of my favorite creative tools for color – Topaz Restyle.  Using a preset with a Curves adjustment, this is the end product.  I might hang this in my house – although I think Peter would prefer the iconic shot.

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  1. shaunkellett

    Some of the best advice I’ve ever received about photography, when I was first starting up, were words to the effect of “Everyone can make a landscape look attractive, anyone can create a postcard, a real artist will find something interesting, they’ll make the viewer think”. With that in mind, the ‘iconic photo’ of convict lake is truly beautiful, it’s absolutely lovely and colourful, great composition, a really wonderful photo… But the abstract is a lot more interesting, it stops me for a second, and makes me think.

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